Alpine duo blame Sprint format for United States GP floor controversy

Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc were both disqualified after their cars' floors were found to be in breach of regulations.

-

Pierre Gasly believes a lack of setup time between first practice and qualifying was the cause behind the post-race controversy which marred the United States Grand Prix.

Formula 1’s fifth Sprint weekend of 2023 at the bumpy Circuit of the Americas generated controversy after Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc were disqualified from the race for technical infringements.

The explanation behind Leclerc and Hamilton’s disqualification was during post-race scrutineering, both cars’ skid blocks’ were found to have failed physical floor and plank wear inspections.

“Yeah, I think there are a couple of things we could do to improve what happened in Austin,” expressed Gasly. “Starting with the Sprint weekend, we’ve only got one FP1 session. 

“So to gauge what you’ll get for the next 70 Laps with two qualifyings, a Sprint race, a full Grand Prix of 59 laps with a lot of fuel, you’re going pretty blind after FP1.

“I remember [in] my karting days, all top three cars were always checked. Whenever you finish on the podium, [there will] be checks and on top of that, there will be random checks down the order.

“It’s only in F1, where it’s not standard to check all top three cars. The sprint format made it tricky, considering we have a very short amount of time to set the car up.”

Disqualification less likely during normal race weekends

Hamilton and Leclerc’s post-race disqualification promoted several drivers in the final classification. Carlos Sainz was promoted to an unexpected third place, Gasly sixth, and Logan Sargeant tenth, scoring his first F1 point.

Gasly’s upgraded haul of points made up for Ocon’s US GP ending after six laps because of crash damage caused by an opening-lap collision with Oscar Piastri.

“I think it is an extremely difficult exercise, just to guess what your ride height has to be, there is a risk and reward,” explained Ocon. “Obviously, in that sort of exercise, if you get the car lower, you get more performance.

“It’s at the risk of are you’re going to be illegal with your plank, and we’ve seen cars, changing setup, throughout the weekends, because of those things. 

“It is just too short for FP1 to set your car up, so I’m sure it’s not the first time that there were cars illegal like that on such weekends or [a] sprint weekend. I think I’m normal format. 

“It’s a lot less likely to happen. But, I’m sure on the other races there was as well.”

Ed Spencer
Ed Spencer
FIA accredited journalist
- Advertisment -

LATEST NEWS

Daniel Ricciardo of Visa Cash App RB during Sprint Qualifying ahead of 2024 Chinese Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

What time does 2024 Chinese Grand Prix Start?

0
The anticipation builds for the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix, an event that promises high-speed action and strategic battles at...
Felix Rosenqvist IndyCar 2024 Grand Prix of Long Beach pole position | Penske Entertainment: Chris Owens

Felix Rosenqvist takes tight pole position for IndyCar Grand Prix of Long Beach 

0
Felix Rosenqvist secured pole position for the 2024 IndyCar Grand Prix of Long Beach by the smallest of margins,...
Fernando Alonso defends from Carlos Sainz in the 2024 Chinese GP Sprint | Peter Fox / Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Why the Chinese GP battle behind Red Bull will be intense

0
Anything but a Max Verstappen victory at the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix would be a huge shock as a...
Max Verstappen celebrates pole position after qualifying for the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Red Bull reach new heights with 100th pole – Horner should savour dominance while it...

0
Red Bull haven't won many fans with their continued dominance of Formula 1 since the arrival of the 2022...

Wolff rubbishes Hamilton claim after Chinese GP exit

0
Toto Wolff hit back at Lewis Hamilton at the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix, claiming his Q1 exit was due...
Carlos Sainz during the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix weekend | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

Aston Martin protest over Carlos Sainz Chinese GP qualifying crash dismissed

0
After a sprint Saturday at the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix, the drama went on a little longer as the...
Fernando Alonso during 2024 Australian GP | Aston Martin F1 Team

Fernando Alonso reveals Aston Martin’s true pace compared to F1 rivals after Chinese GP...

0
Fernando Alonso believes Aston Martin are slower than Ferrari, McLaren and potentially even Mercedes despite outqualifying all of them...
Max Verstappen of Red Bull leads Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes during the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix Sprint | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen admits to qualifying confusion after Lewis Hamilton caught out

0
Max Verstappen revealed he was confused by his opening run in Q3 before eventually improving to take his fifth...
Lewis Hamilton looks on in a press conference at the 2024 pre-season test in Bahrain | Mercedes / Jiri Krenek

Lewis Hamilton upbeat after Mercedes disaster in Chinese GP qualifying: Sh*t happens

0
Lewis Hamilton admits his changes made to his car prior to qualifying for the Formula 1 2024 Chinese Grand...

Christian Horner: Perez driving for Red Bull future

0
Christian Horner praised Sergio Perez's recovery after a chastening 2023 Formula 1 season, as the Mexican completed a Red...
- Advertisment -