Hamilton gives first public reply to US GP disqualification: Others got away with it

Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari's Charles Leclerc were disqualified from the 2023 US GP


Lewis Hamilton has hit back at the Formula 1 stewards over his disqualification from the 2023 United States Grand Prix due to a worn floor plank, saying more drivers would’ve fallen foul of the same rule but weren’t tested.

Hamilton had pushed Max Verstappen all the way but just missed out on victory before losing his second place to the F1 scrutineers, alongside Charles Leclerc who’d finished sixth.

With just a few days between leaving Austin and facing the press ahead of the Mexico City GP, it was Hamilton‘s first chance to address the disqualification and he didn’t hold back.

“I’ve heard from several different sources that there were a lot of other cars that were also illegal, but they weren’t tested,” Hamilton told the media. “I’ve been racing here for 16 years, there’s been times, there’s been many other scenarios like this where some people got away with certain things and some people have just been unlucky with testing.”

Both Hamilton and Leclerc‘s floor planks – which run the length of the car including under the cockpit and protect it from damage – were found to have worn below 9mm thick and fell foul of Article 3.5.9 e) of the F1 Technical Regulations.

First and third-place finishers Max Verstappen and Lando Norris were also tested – as is usual in F1 – and passed with flying colours, but many in the paddock questioned why more cars weren’t checked given 50 percent failed in one area.

Hamilton: Regulations must be changed

Lewis Hamilton celebrates his podium in the 2023 United States GP | Wolfgang Wilhelm/Mercedes F1 team

Mercedes blamed the disqualification on the bumpy track surface at the Circuit of the Americas, combined with the sprint weekend meaning they couldn’t predict the floor wear from just one practice session.

It means Hamilton‘s failed to score in consecutive grand prix for the first time since 2010, after he crashed out of the 2023 Qatar GP in a first-corner incident with teammate George Russell.

“I think ultimately there needs to be some sort of better structure in terms of making sure it’s fair across the board,” Hamilton added. “We’ve never had that problem in Austin before, it was just because we had a sprint race as well.

“An easy solution, easy fix for that one, for example, is that we agree to change the floors, approach the weekend differently like the car isn’t set from Friday morning and especially with the track, that’s really the only reason – some cars have better, ride quality than others.”

Adam Dickinson
Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for Total-Motorsport.com since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, and previously worked for Last-Lap.co.uk and FeederSeries.net in motorsport and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
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