Lewis Hamilton expresses frustration over post-race plank testing in US Grand Prix

GPF1 United States (motorsport.com)

Calls for fairer and more comprehensive testing protocols.

Following his disqualification from the United States Grand Prix due to a plank wear regulation violation, Lewis Hamilton has expressed his frustration over the limited post-race testing protocols applied by the FIA. Only four cars were examined after the race, leading to the disqualifications of Hamilton and Charles Leclerc, while the cars of Max Verstappen and Lando Norris were deemed legal. Hamilton spoke out about the need for a fairer and more comprehensive testing structure.

Hamilton, who was informed of his disqualification by Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff, shared his disappointment at losing his second-place finish. He acknowledged the positive aspects of the race but expressed his frustration at the outcome.

He also raised concerns about the selective testing of cars, stating that he had heard from various sources that several other cars were potentially illegal but were not tested, allowing them to go unpunished. Hamilton emphasized the need for a more structured and equitable approach to testing to ensure a level playing field for all teams.

Hamilton pointed out that the sprint weekend format, with car specifications fixed after FP1, contributed to such incidents. He suggested that an easy solution would be to allow teams to make floor changes after FP1, avoiding situations where car settings are locked in too early.

He clarified that the plank wear failure was not due to the team pushing the car too low for performance gains. Hamilton explained that their car worked better at higher ride heights and that the plank wear issue was primarily a consequence of the bumpy Circuit of the Americas track. He highlighted the importance of ride quality and stated that the team’s performance at COTA was not solely a result of the plank wear failure, which was relatively minor.

All in all, Hamilton stressed the need to avoid overreacting to the situation and expressed hope that the team’s performance would continue in the upcoming races. He called for a fair and balanced approach to testing and regulations to prevent such incidents in the future.