FIA delegate Jo Bauer has detected irregularities for the floors of Charles Leclerc and Lewis Hamilton’s cars at the end of the United States Grand Prix. The matter now rests with the panel of sports commissioners. Both drivers could face disqualification from the race.
Just when it seemed all was settled, a sensational twist occurred. The Ferrari SF-23, car number 16 driven by Charles Leclerc, and the Mercedes W14, car number 44 driven by Lewis Hamilton, are under review by the panel of sports commissioners following a report from Jo Bauer, FIA’s technical delegate, who inspected both cars.
In document 60 issued at 17:28 in Austin, Jo Bauer, FIA’s technical delegate, stated the following: “Physical inspection of the undertrays and skid blocks was performed on cars number 16 and 44.”
“The skid blocks located in the area -825 ≥ XR ≥ – 1025 were found not to be in compliance with Regulation Article 3.5.9 and the FIA Technical Regulations dedicated to Formula 1.”
The referenced article reads: “The thickness of the boards measured normally on the underside must be 10 millimeters (plus or minus) 0.2 millimeters and must be uniform when new.”
“A minimum thickness of 9 millimeters will be accepted due to wear, and compliance with this provision will be verified at the perimeters of the designated holes.” In other words, the regulation states that the tolerance is one millimeter, possibly due to wear during the race.
In the note, Bauer added that the matter will be passed to the panel of sports commissioners as they will be the ones to decide on any potential – but likely – penalties for Charles Leclerc and Lewis Hamilton. Disqualification from the United States Grand Prix is not out of the question.
Show your support for Scuderia Ferrari with official merchandise collection! Click here to enter the F1 online Store and shop securely! And also get your F1 tickets for every race with VIP hospitality and unparalleled insider access. Click here for the best offers to support Charles and Carlos from the track!
Lewis Hamilton finished the race in second place, challenging Max Verstappen in the final laps for victory. Charles Leclerc, on the other hand, started from pole position but, due to an erroneous strategy, ended up in sixth place, even trailing behind his teammate Carlos Sainz Jr.
If both drivers were to be disqualified, the Ferrari team might benefit from the situation, gaining some points in the battle against Mercedes in the fight for second place in the Constructors’ Championship.
One of the reasons the undertrays of the two cars may have been deemed non-compliant with the technical regulations after Jo Bauer’s inspections is the nature of the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, which has always been notorious for its bumps, although the track was recently resurfaced between turns 12 and 14 to 16 in an attempt to alleviate the issue.
Even Max Verstappen, today’s race winner, described the track as more of a rally stage than one meeting the standards expected by Formula 1.