James Allison explains what caused Lewis Hamilton’s disqualification

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James Allison says the “hurt, disappointment and frustration” Mercedes feels after Lewis Hamilton’s disqualification from the United States Grand Prix, “will pass to be replaced by the sunny optimism of knowing that the car looked bright on this upgrade package”.

After getting P2 at the United States Grand Prix, Lewis was disqualified because his car’s floor plank failed the post-race inspection.

Mercedes’ Technical Director James Allison explains what caused the disqualification.

“Austin is a track with a very bumpy surface and therefore you are a bit more vulnerable to bumping the car on the ground,” the Briton said in Mercedes’ post-race debrief video.

“We just simply didn’t take enough margin at the end of Free Practice 1. When we had done our set-up, we checked the plank and everything all looked fine, untouched after the FP1 running.

“But the results of the race speak for themselves. We were illegal, so clearly, we should have had our car set a little bit higher up to give ourselves a little bit more margin.

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“It’s of course a mistake, it’s an understandable sort of mistake in a sprint weekend where it’s so much harder to get that stuff right, especially on a bumpy track.

“But a lesson for us in the future to make sure that we take more margin especially at a track like that with all its bumps.”

Allison adds that the disappointment felt by the team as a result of the DQ, will not last long because the upgrade Mercedes introduced in Austin has proven to be successful.

“Of course, the disqualification is a significant blow. It’s a miserable feeling. It hurts and everybody here feels it.

“Everybody is upset, embarrassed to a degree as well because we absolutely don’t like being on the wrong side of the rules and just lamenting the lost points.

“Give it a day or two and that will start to wane and be replaced by the much happier feeling, which is we moved our car forward this weekend and that’s hard to do.

“But we did it and we did it by a decent amount. And with four races left in the championship, four races where I am sure we will stay on the right side of the skid block rules.

“The initial feeling [of] hurt, disappointment and frustration will pass to be replaced by the sunny optimism of knowing that the car looked bright on this upgrade package.

“And we’ve got four more races to show what we can do with it,” he concluded.

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