Hamilton: “There were a lot of other cars that were also illegal”

© Sebastian Kawka for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix ltd.

After getting disqualified from the United States Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton says he’s “heard from several different sources that there were a lot of other cars that were also illegal”.

Lewis Hamilton finished the United States Grand Prix in P2, however he was later disqualified from the race because his car failed the post-race inspection.

The cause was excessive wear on his car’s floor plank, the same issue that was also found on Charles Leclerc’s car, who was also disqualified.

This caused many fans and observers, and even some pundits, to question the FIA’s decision-making process, especially the fact that they didn’t check all of the cars for wear, after two of the four they inspected were found to be illegal.

Ahead of the Mexican Grand Prix, Lewis said he has learned that many other cars were also illegal.

“Firstly I’ve heard from several different sources that there were a lot of other cars that were also illegal,” the Briton said.

“But they weren’t tested, so they got away with it. I’ve been racing here 16 years, there’s been times where there’s been many other scenarios like this where some people got away with certain things, and some people have just been unlucky they got tested.

“So I think ultimately there probably needs to be some sort of better structure in terms of making sure it’s fair and even across the board.”

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Lewis then described how he learned of the disqualification.

“I just came out of the press conference, got back, and I was about to get in the ice tub. And then Toto [Wolff] came running down and told me.

“Obviously [I was] devastated. It had been such a great day and great race. But yeah, and then I didn’t find out fully until I was back home.

“Yeah, just a bit deflated after the day, but there were lots of positives to take from it.”

The Briton agreed with Mercedes who said the nature of the sprint weekend contributed to the issue.

“We’ve never had that problem in Austin before. It was just because we had the sprint race as well, so an easy solution, an easy fix for that one, for example, is that we are able to change the floors after the…

“Well, just approach the weekend differently, where the car is not set already from Friday morning, especially at the bumpiest track that we’ve been on, because that’s really the only reason that there are failures.

“It’s just because it’s so bumpy, and some cars have better ride quality than others. Look at the Ferrari, look at Charles’ head and my head.

“We have pretty bad ride, and our heads are bumping around quite a lot because the car is hitting the deck. It’s not because we generally are just pushing the car too low.”

Lewis also denied that the issue happened because Mercedes decided to ‘push the car too low’.

“I think firstly we need to just address the point that last year, our car was best when it was low, super low. So we were low and stiff.

“Our car works better at high ride heights now. So it’s not that we’re just pushing the car too low.

“It was just an unfortunate scenario. 0.05 [mm] failure on the rear skid, it’s not going to make the difference between winning and losing. So that error wasn’t the reason that we were as fast as were.

“So that’s why it’s just been painful for us. Because, you know, if we had changed our rear springs, for example, perhaps we would have had better ride.

“But anyways, we’re hopeful that the performance will continue this weekend. And yeah, just making sure that guys don’t overreact.

“I think we’ll be fine,” Hamilton concluded.

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