Hamilton risks qualifying exclusion after a Brazilian F1 DRS violation

Mercedes driver Hamilton overtook Q3 ahead of title rival Max Verstappen at Interlagos, taking first place on the grid for Saturday’s 24-lap sprint race.

But in a bulletin sent by the FIA ​​after qualifying on Friday, technical delegate Jo Bauer revealed that there had been a breach with the DRS on Hamilton’s car.

“The adjustable positions of the upper rear wings have been checked on car number 44 for compliance with Article 3.6.3 of the 2021 Formula 1 Technical Regulations,” the bulletin reads.

“The minimum distance requirement has been met. But the requirement for the maximum of 85 mm when the DRS system is deployed and tested according to TD / 011-19, [was] not fulfilled.

“I report this matter to the administrators for their consideration.”

Mercedes meets with the stewards at 7:15 pm local time in Brazil after being formally summoned by the FIA.

Pole Lewis Hamilton, a Mercedes W12, arrives at Parc Ferme

Pole Lewis Hamilton, a Mercedes W12, arrives at Parc Ferme

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

If Hamilton’s car were found to have caused a technical breakdown, the seven-time world champion may be excluded from the qualifying results, leaving him at the back of the grid for the sprint race.

Hamilton is already facing a five-seat grid penalty for Sunday’s race after Mercedes chose to change the engine of his car before the race weekend.

Another penalty would come as another blow to Hamilton’s F1 title hope, slipping to 19 points behind Verstappen in the world championship after Sunday’s defeat in Mexico.

Hamilton said Thursday that the challenge in Brazil would be “steep” due to Red Bull’s speed advantage, but was encouraged by the 0.4-second gap to Verstappen in qualifying after feeling comfortable with the setup on his Mercedes W12 car.

“The car was really nice to drive,” Hamilton said. “It was all I wanted, and that allowed me to just keep pressing. You saw purple, purple, purple, so I just won every time.

“I don’t know how we can go from one track where they’re half a second ahead to after being behind, but anyway, they’ll be very strong in the race tomorrow.”

The 24-lap sprint race at Interlagos is set to begin at 7:30 pm GMT (4:30 pm local), with a second practice session scheduled for earlier in the day.

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