Lewis Hamilton has suffered same punishment as Michael Schumacher after US Grand Prix disqualification

F1 Lewis Hamilton

F1 star Lewis Hamilton had finished second at the US Grand Prix on Sunday

Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 23/10/2023

- 10:36

The Brit had originally finished second in Texas on Sunday

Lewis Hamilton thought he'd secured second spot at the US Grand Prix on Sunday.

However, F1 chiefs then opted to disqualify the Brit after the 38-year-old had finished second behind Max Verstappen in one of his best races of the season.

The decision was made nearly four hours after the race in Austin, Texas.

Hamilton was punished for running an illegal floor, with Ferrari ace Charles Leclerc also suffering the same fate for the offence.

Lewis Hamilton Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton performed well at the US Grand Prix


A statement from the FIA explained the decision, saying Hamilton had breached technical regulations regarding the dept of the plank that runs close to the floor.

Four cars were examined at random after the race.

And unfortunately for Hamilton he was penalised after being fitted with a new floor via an upgrade package.

It was a bitter blow for the Stevenage-born racer, who had produced one of his best performances of the F1 season so far.

And he's now suffered the same punishment as Formula One icon Michael Schumacher.

Back in 1994, at the Belgian Grand Prix, Schumacher's Bennetton was removed for a similar offence.

The plank had been introduced at the German GP that same year as a safety measure following the deaths of Roland Ratzenberger and Ayrton Senna.

The logic was that, by having a plank of wood inside the car to raise ride heights, it would slow cars down and lead to greater safety.

Schumacher had thought he'd extended his points lead at the top of the standings after securing first on the podium.

Just a few hours later, however, he was disqualified following an investigation into his plank - with rival Damon Hill then benefitting from the decision.

Schumacher didn't appeal - and Mercedes have no plans to, either.

For Hamilton, it means his hopes of second second in the F1 standings this year are now over.

With Sergio Perez finishing fourth in America, the Mexican now boasts a 39-point lead over his rival.

Speaking after the race, Hamilton admitted he was disappointed with the outcome of the investigation into his car.

"It is of course disappointing to be disqualified post-race," said the veteran.

"But that doesn't take away from the progress we've made this weekend."

While disappointed, he did also opt to focus on the positives from the race.

"It was tough racing those around me as they were so quick, but we can be happy with many things," he added.

"I feel positive as we're moving forward, even if reflecting on it we could have possibly won today."

Mercedes chief Toto Wolff was rueful as well, admitting they 'got it wrong' as they looked to turn their patchy form around.

Michael Schumacher

Michael Schumacher was disqualified from the F1 Belgian Grand Prix back in 1994


"Set-up choices on a sprint weekend are always a challenge with just one hour of free practice - and even more so at a bumpy circuit like COTA and running a new package," he said.

"In the end, all of that doesn't matter; others got it right where we got it wrong and there's no wiggle room in the rules.

"We need to take it on the chin, do the learning, and come back stronger next weekend."

And Trackside Engineering Director Andrew Shovlin has insisted the Silver Arrows will learn from the incident.

"We are of course naturally very disappointed to lose our podium finish," he said.

Toto Wolff Mercedes

Toto Wolff was left rueful after Lewis Hamilton was disqualified from the F1 US Grand Prix


"Unfortunately, it is one of the pitfalls of the Sprint format where we have a solitary hour of running before parc ferme.

"Without running at a race fuel load in FP1, combined with a circuit as bumpy as this and the parts of the track where the drivers have to put the car during the Grand Prix, have contributed to the higher than expected wear levels.

"We will go away and learn from this but also take the positives from our experience as a whole.

"Lewis had a very strong weekend, and it was exciting to see him closing in first on Lando [Norris] and then Max [Verstappen] with a shot of winning the race."

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