Mercedes admit illegal F1 plank would’ve made ‘some difference’

Lewis Hamilton would've closed to within 19 points of Sergio Perez had he not been disqualified.

Following Lewis Hamilton’s shock disqualification from the United States Grand Prix, Mercedes had admitted that the illegal plank on the 38-year-old’s car would’ve made “some difference” but they’ve stressed that it wouldn’t have given Hamilton a “significant advantage”, according to the BBC.

After finishing second at the Circuit of the Americas, Hamilton’s car was chosen for random post-race checks, where it was discovered that the plank underneath his W14 didn’t comply with the sport’s technical regulations.

He was disqualified as a result and now finds himself 39 points behind Sergio Perez in the fight for second in the Constructors’ Championship.

Hamilton wasn’t the only driver to be disqualified, as Charles Leclerc’s plank also failed to comply with F1’s technical regulations.

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The Monegasque had finished fifth, despite having started on pole position.

The entire situation has resulted in Ferrari reducing their deficit to the Silver Arrows in the Constructors’ Championship, which now sits at just 22 points with four races remaining.

Setting up the floor on the W14 at the US GP was particularly challenging for Mercedes given that it was a sprint weekend, meaning that parc ferme conditions were implemented after just the one practice session.

Mercedes had actually introduced a new floor at COTA, which performed to Hamilton’s liking.

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The disqualification was purely caused by the Silver Arrows just not setting the car up correctly, with Toto Wolff admitting that they must “take it on the chin”.

Mercedes’ team principal recognises it was their fault ultimately and that they cannot argue if the car didn’t comply with the regulations.

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As a result, the Austrian wants the side to focus on bouncing “back stronger” this weekend in Mexico.

“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,” Wolff 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.”