Toto Wolff says contentious Brazilian GP rear wing was broken

© Sebastian Kawka for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix ltd.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff says the team received their Brazilian Grand Prix Qualifying rear wing back from the FIA and “as we thought, it was broken”.

Lewis Hamilton was disqualified from the Brazilian Grand Prix Qualifying and had to start the Sprint Race from the back of the grid, due to his rear wing failing the “85mm slot gap test”.

Mercedes immediately suspected the gap was larger because the wing was broken during qualifying, and although the FIA acknowledged the infringement was not done on purpose, they still penalised Lewis.

At the Qatar Grand Prix Friday press conference Toto Wolff confirmed that the rear wing was indeed broken.

“As for the rear wing, yeah, we got the rear wing back and, as we thought, it was broken,” the Austrian said.

“It broke in qualifying. We didn’t pass the 85mm slot gap test on the far right side. We passed it on the left and the middle, but not on the middle by a fraction of a millimetre and that’s fine.

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“We weren’t allowed to inspect it, nor to make the argument that the part is being broken and consequently we found out that two screws became undone in qualifying and that caused that right side to be irregular and you know probably it was even detrimental to the lap time but it is what it is.

“It was reported to the stewards and that was very different to how these things were handled in the past where you would be able to patch up things that got broken during parc fermé but we’ve moved on.

“It’s a race gone. We were obviously able to turn it around. I wish that Lewis had been able to take more points from the Sprint Qualifying, but that is the past.

“I think now the rules are in a way reset and we’re going to do the best out of it for the current grand prix and the next ones to come,” Wolff concluded.

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