Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Interlagos, 2021

Official: Hamilton loses pole to Verstappen, will start sprint qualifying last

2021 Sao Paulo Grand Prix

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[raceweekendpromotion]Lewis Hamilton has been excluded from the results of Friday’s qualifying session for the Sao Paulo Grand Prix due to a technical infringement on his Mercedes.

The reigning world champion will therefore start the sprint qualifying race from the back of the grid. The race will set the grid for Sunday’s grand prix, in which Hamilton will take a further five-place grid penalty for exceeding his maximum allocation of power unit elements, as announced earlier.

FIA technical delegate Jo Bauer found the Drag Reduction System on Hamilton’s rear wing was able to open wider than the maximum 85 millimetres permitted by the regulations.

Hamilton dominated qualifying on Friday at Interlagos, leading all three stages and beating Max Verstappen by over four tenths of a second.

Verstappen therefore inherits pole position from his championship rival, who he leads by 19 points. Valtteri Bottas, who originally qualified third in the other Mercedes, and whose car was not found in violation of the rules, will join Verstappen on the front row of the grid.

Mercedes subsequently confirmed they will not appeal Hamilton’s disqualification.

The stewards’ verdict on Hamilton

The technical delegate reported that car 44 failed the test designed to check the requirements of the last paragraph of Art. 3.6.3 of the 2021 FIA Formula 1 Technical Regulations. The check is described in Technical Directive 011-19.

In lay terms, there is a gap between the upper and lower parts of the rear wing. When the DRS is not activated this gap must be between 10mm and 15mm. The car passed this part of the test.

When DRS is activated, which raises the upper element of the wing to a flatter position, the gap must be between 10mm and 85mm. The maximum gap is measured, in accordance with TD/011-19, by pushing an 85mm gauge against the gap with a maximum load of 10N (ten newtons). If the gauge goes through then the car has failed the test. In this case, the gauge would not pass through at the inner section of the wing, but did at the outer section of the wing. This test was repeated four times with two different gauges, once being done in the presence of the stewards and representatives of the competitor.

The stewards held a hearing on Friday following qualifying with Ron Meadows, the competitor representative, and Simon Cole, the chief engineer [for] trackside and from the FIA Jo Bauer, technical delegate and Nicholas Tombazis, single seater technical director. The stewards then adjourned the hearing to gather more evidence and at 10:30am on Saturday morning held a further hearing that also included John Owen, chief designer for the competitor, who testified by video conference, but did not include [Jo] Bauer.

The competitor asserted that the design is intended to meet the regulations. It was clear to the stewards that the additional deflection was due to additional play either in the DRS actuator or the pivots at the end, or some combination or other fault with the mechanism, or incorrect assembly of the parts. The stewards heard, from both the team and the FIA that the same design has been tested many times during the season and uniformly passed. Further, the FIA has examined the design of the area of the car in question and are satisfied that the design meets the intent of the regulation. There is therefore no question in the minds of the stewards that the test failure indicates any intent to exceed the maximum dimension either by action or design.

The competitor also noted, that Art 3.6.3 of the regulation states a maximum dimension, which is possible to measure without applying a force or load. It is not until a force is applied, that the gauge is able to go through. There was no disagreement that the test itself was undertaken as described in TD/011-19. The gauges were measured and the stewards were satisfied that they were the correct dimension. The competitor therefore argues that their car complied with the regulation in the static position and thus meets the regulation.

The FIA argues that while not regulatory, the TD, like many others, describes the procedure for the test so that competitors may design cars to meet the regulations. Further, the TD states that the test is designed “to make sure that the rear wing element does not deflect to a larger opening than the permitted value…”. The stewards take the position that while a TD is not in itself a regulation, TDs are accepted as the method upon which the teams may rely and in this case, the test that was carried out was in conformity with the TD and its legitimate aims.

The competitor alleged that the fact that the car passed the test in the centre section of the wing is both a mitigating factor and shows that there was no intent to breach the regulation. While the stewards accept that the latter point may be true, the stewards believe that which sections failed is not relevant to the fact that the wing did fail the test.

The competitor noted that this is not a systemic breach, and is indeed unique. It was, rather, something gone wrong. The competitor further noted that they would have liked to have had the opportunity to inspect the parts with a view to having some explanation for the stewards as to how the problem arose. However, the stewards fundamentally accept the competitor’s explanation that the cause of the failed test was something “gone wrong” rather than a deliberate action. The stewards therefore
chose to keep the assembly under seal and preserve the evidence of the failure, rather than altering the parts in an inspection which would have involved some handling of the parts and thus some alteration of the evidence.

The final point of the competitor regarding the assembly itself is that it is regular practice for the FIA Technical Department to allow teams to fix minor problems that they find with their cars, even during the parc ferme conditions of qualifying. Had the competitor recognised this problem during qualifying they surely would have sought, and the FIA Technical Department confirmed, they would have received permission to fix the parts or tighten bolts if needed.

The stewards were sympathetic to this argument and analysed whether they felt this was a mitigating circumstance. It is often a mitigating circumstance to make allowances for crash damage. However, the stewards could not extend this argument to cover parts that were found out of conformity in post session checks with no obvious reason in evidence other than considering normal running at this event. In the end, the regulations are clear and at the moment of the conformity check, the car did
not comply.

At the end of the first hearing on Friday, amateur video emerged of driver Max Verstappen touching car 44 in parc ferme. The stewards took the time to gather all the available video footage of this incident and finally reviewed in car footage from car 14, car 77, car 33 and car 44 as well as CCTV footage from the FIA’s pit lane cameras, in addition to the amateur footage. The stewards held a separate hearing in
relation to this incident and incorporate the text of that decision herein.

However, in summary the competitor of car 44 also agreed that it was unlikely that Verstappen’s actions caused the fault, however they felt that it was an open question. The stewards, however, were fully satisfied, having extensively reviewed the totality of the evidence regarding that incident, that it has no bearing on this case.

Finally, therefore, the stewards decide that car 44 failed the test indicated in TD/011-19 and is therefore in breach of Art 3.6.3 of the FIA Formula 1 Technical Regulations. The stewards agree with the competitor that this is something gone wrong, rather than an intentional act or design but did not find there to be mitigating circumstances.

Further, Art 1.3.3 of the International Sporting Code states that “it shall be no defence to claim that no performance advantage was obtained”. Therefore, the stewards order the usual penalty for technical non-compliance of disqualification from the qualifying session.

This article will be updated

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2021 Sao Paulo Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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144 comments on “Official: Hamilton loses pole to Verstappen, will start sprint qualifying last”

  1. All decisions from the FIA have been appropriate, but the wait has been ridiculous.

    1. Also, I bet it will be twitchy bum time at Merc when they test the wing after the sprint and the race.

      Wonder how long Mercedes have been getting away with this? Was it since Silverstone?

      1. “how long Mercedes have been getting away with this?”

        Sigh. Please can you stop. Please.

        1. Why? It’s a genuine question..they may or may not have been doing this from earlier rac s..but it does arise suspicion

          1. They test the rear wings every race, especially since the flexi drama earlier in the season. There’s even a special device they use to do it.

            What is wrong with F1 fans these days, is this the DTS effect?

        2. No, on the contrary, keep it up. Mercedes, deserved all the flack they get.

      2. I believe they treat after every session, and they have never failed it before. They will be double and triple checking that the new wing is in conformance before they go out into the sprint and race.

        This is unfortunate, but a breach of the technical regs leads to a DSQ. I’ve argued this many times before, and there must be a serious mitigating factor (like damage) for any other result. Now we just need to hope that it doesn’t trash the excitement of the rest of the weekend, as I was really looking forward to seeing Lewis try to battle back to the front from 6th/7th. From the back with the 5 places still to serve, I doubt Lewis has any realistic chance of even getting close to Max…

      3. @theessence Read the damn verdict.

      4. It could be a setting of the lever to increase the gap under high load. This time the failed to block the movement before inspection.

        1. Absolutely true

      5. @theessence

        This may just have been an assembly error, combined with poor checking (apparently, the teams use the same tool as FIA to verify the legality of the wing, but perhaps the Mercedes engineer only tested the center). In that case, this may be the only race where the wing was illegal.

        1. Keep believing that…

        2. that cannot be true because the same wing passed scrutineering before FP1 with the same load bearing mecmesin tool used to measure the DRS opening.

          Something feels off about this,

          MAX touching the merc wing was done deliberately as a sign to draw attention to it being ‘illegal’ but there is no way he would know that himself it was a few mm off so my theory is that RB had prior knowledge that the sprint quali wing was illegal as it would also be impossible to have any suspicion that anything was off .
          So either RB have the best spy alien tech cameras to notice a 2 mm deviation of the drs opening during quali and told max that the merc drs opening was illegal so he could probe it or someone at merc deliberately sabotaged the wing and tipped off Honer fully aware it would fail scrutineering .

          major singapore 2008 vibes here

    2. I think the delay might also have been deliberate to prevent/make it difficult for Hamilton to possible take the opportunity preior to the start of the sprint to replace any major parts, like a more engine components. Not that I think they would have.. but you never know.

      P.S. Ignore the ‘report comment’ stupid button right next to ‘reply’

    3. There nothing wrong from spending all the time possible in order to examine this fully. This was a potentially championship deciding ruling. Just because the Twitter generation checks for news every 5mins it doesn’t mean the stewards should rush a decision.

      1. @afonic people have just compared how fast it has been previously to DSQ Vettel from his podium finish for a (different, I know) technical infringement.

      2. Exactly @afonic. Better take the time to check any angles that might come up (including the incident with Max) and answer all questions there are to get a solid verdict in this case.

  2. Lol mercedes just stupid. Why find something so obvious to cheat.

    1. I do not think they cheated, as you suggest it would be really stupid. They just made a very very costly error in setting up the wing.

    2. A person somewhere
      13th November 2021, 17:11

      There is therefore no question in the minds of the Stewards that the test
      failure indicates any intent to exceed the maximum dimension either by action or
      design.

      Did you even read the article?

      1. that part was added later!

        1. A person somewhere
          13th November 2021, 17:28

          A minor technicality, entirely in keeping with the topic at hand ;)

    3. can’t believe it was deliberate* – thus just stupid to sail so close to the wind/or disappointing that their production and control standards are up to scratch.

      * or do they have some kind of MAD (Multiple Angle DRS) system on their car?

    4. Can you please read the article and ruling before writing such tripe @f1fan-2000. Some of the comments during this episode have been ridiculous and needlessly decisive.

      1. TBF is difficult to see never mind read when your head is up a dark tunnel.

      2. Funny I never see you writing these remarks when Max is crucified over nothing on this website.

        1. @jelle-van-der-meer
          Acrually I’ve been very supportive of Max this year, one of the few Hamilton supporters to blame Hamilton at Silverstone for example, I don’t think Max should be punished for touching the wing, I’ve also said he’s been awesome this season. Would you like me to link you the comments, or can you trust me?

          I don’t want a medal, but when you suggest I don’t call a spade a spade then you’re wrong. What you say is false.

      3. Almost as ridiculous as the magic Verstappen touch fantasy.

  3. I thought pole was determined after the Sprint Qualifying ;)

  4. This is championship over. I said Brazil would be decisive, and as others suggested, this might have occurred because of the logistics delay from Mexico. Not the first time Hamilton loses pole due to a technical violation.

    1. @krichelle

      Yeah, I was also wondering whether Mercedes made an assembly and/or verification error by rushing the assembly.

      1. They simply pushed the limit just a bit too far and got caught, it is as simple as that.

        Most funny part of that Toto and Lewis have been crying wolf all season about Red Bull cheating with wings, engines, pitstop and despite Red Bull always found to be legal got support from the FIA in Changing rules mid season.

        Now that they are actually caught cheating (intentionally or not) and try to play the victim card.

        Sure Mercedes PR department is in overdrive and will make overtime trying to spin the narrative – sadly far too many Lewis fans still believe what comes out of Toto’s mouth.

        1. @jelle-van-der-meer
          This is more an error than a deliberate move: Bottas car passed the tests.
          “never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity” (from Hanlon’s razor)

          1. Not saying they did it on purpose, but still… BOT is not a title contender. Just saying…

    2. Just a quick reminder …
      Max nevered finished a race on a race week end with sprint qualifying yet …
      Race is on sunday, and championship is over in four race.

      Like said Enzo :
      If you want fo finish at first place, you must first finish.

      1. Rain chance for tomorrow is 0%, so Mercedes can’t count on the weather to help them. Only thing would be a safety car if Hamilton starts from pit lane. And god know how much performance they will lose since they will have to make sure they adhere to the FIA rules.

    3. Absolutely. It was good while it lasted, but there is nothing preventing Verstappen from winning in normal circumstances. Cheers to the Verstappen fans: your time as come, he will be champion!

  5. We got there eventually.

  6. They make it to easy, but we’ll take it. Go Max!

  7. Again, the right decision, but ridiculous that it took so long. The “open-and-shut” joke has been done to death, buried, dug up and done to death again, but really it was a straightforward case that should have been decided yesterday afternoon.

  8. So no direct malicious intent, but failed the regulation. Sounds like a completely appropriate penalty for Merc and also for Max. It took time but they got it right in the end.

    Hopefully I can now stop reading about how Mercedes are intentionally cheating or even worse, the FIA are conspiring to find a way to drop a penalty from Hamilton due to British connections or otherwise.

    Can this please stop now.

    1. Can you imagine the flak when this “error” happened to red bull….
      Just look at the superhuman verstappen touch fantasy.

    2. Chance would be a fine thing.

    3. Nope – having way too much fun now that Mercedes got caught cheating after earlier multiple times accusing Red Bull of cheating.

      Obviously Mercedes did not intend to get caught but if you push the limits too far you run the risk and that is fully the responsibility of Mercedes and Lewis.

      1. Hi Jelle, please don’t disgrace yourself. Obviously no bad intent from the side of Mercedes. This is not cheating, this is just sloppy work which might have had something to do with the nightwork they had to do.

      2. geoffgroom44 (@)
        13th November 2021, 19:23

        The one thing that has,for the most part, been great about this sport…has been the ability of most fans to be objective.If you remember RB’s ‘flexible floor’ and how their winning streak changed when that was banned, you could objectively observe that maybe it had a powerful effect on the aerodynamics.Objectively speaking, it would be hard to think that an extra 2 mm gap at each end ,but not in the centre, on the rear wing would contribute to a 0.5 second per lap difference on such a short circuit.
        What,however, does puzzle me is what is the meaning of tape on the rear wing components in USA and Mexico? To repair a ‘crack’ ? Is the crack occurring because the component is too flexible and what would be the effect of a flexible floor,ooops, I mean tail component in a race? Would the tape also mean that a test of the mms space would read differently? I ask you,JVDM, because you seem to be such an expert on cheating.

      3. Embarrassing comment @jelle-van-der-meer.
        I even state that Mercedes deserve the penalty, and Max shouldn’t have been penalised and it’s still not good enough for you. Seriously, just sad.

    4. How it was not intentionally? When it would be a malfunction it would been mentioned in the verdict. Did Verstappen knew or saw it and therefore checken?

  9. Correct decision but shame for neutrals. Was looking forward to this weekend and two titans going for it.

    1. I don’t know. I’m a Hamilton fan and the sprint race is going to be epic. No just holding position waiting for Sunday!

      1. I hate being the tinfoil guy but actually this struck me right away yesterday. Can’t imagine Brawn being too sad about this.

    2. Finally an opportunity to see what reverse grid Sprint racing could look like ;)

  10. It was a slam-dunk DSQ, the question about it was why they took so long. Who would have thought Mercedes to become such an operational mess à la Ferrari in such a short time? What a relentless opposition in both championships doesn’t do to a team so used to comfortably winning…

  11. Well that wraps up the 21 season then…Congrats to the fizzy pop team and the bloke from Belgium…

    1. Who’s the guy from Belgium?

      1. Verstappen. He was born in Belgium and is Belgian-Dutch.

        1. And he races under the Dutch flag. No-one referred to Nico Rosberg as the bloke from Finland…

        2. Doesn’t matter where you were born. Two of my kids were born in Germany that doesn’t make them Germans, they are Dutch.

        3. So what if he was born in Belgium? What’s wrong with being Belgian?

          The licence you race under isn’t necessarily the same as your nationality. For example, Jochen Rindt raced under an Austrian licence but never took Austrian citizenship (he was German).

    2. New to F1 eh? Season is not over at all. Even if Max wins and Hamilton finishes 4th or 5th, a DNF for Max in the next race and it’s back on.

      1. @petebaldwin That’s more like it! Game on!

        1. We’re already back into a position where Lewis has a good chance of winning tomorrow. Season definitely no-where near over.

      2. But what are the chances for a DNF @petebaldwin ? Apart from the tyres blowout, the RBs didn’t break down on their own the whole year. It would take a crash to stop them, and with the championship on the line, no one wants to be “that guy”. So, it’s safe to assume that the championship is over. It was a great one nonetheless.

        1. geoffgroom44 (@)
          13th November 2021, 19:29

          Interesting to speculate why Merc changed engines but RB seem,so far, to have little need to do so.

  12. Common sense prevailed for both Verstappen and Hamilton, which is good.

    Now I want to sue that Mercedes engineer responsible for setting up the rear wings: y have just ruined the end of what was an exciting season.

  13. Inevitable really. Intentional or not, an advantage was gained. No arguments. Still… we never give up.

    1. Doubt there was any advantage at all since the direction of play in the mechanism wouldn’t increase the opening under load. But your car has to be legal to race. They failed to prep the car properly and paid the price.

      1. @dmw

        It opened further than allowed during the test and if it also opened up further during qualy, then that is definitely an advantage.

  14. Another high quality comment. I thought they were conspiring to help Hamilton win the championship by saying Max bent the wing though? And the FIA always help Mercedes?

  15. Sounds like either human error or part failure. Whichever, it couldn’t have had other outcome, unless it was possible to prove the fault occurred as a result of some form of collision damage or being touched by Verstappen after 15 cans of spinach.

  16. Pathetic!

    No intent by MB to infringe regulations. The gap was in limits during the static test but when a force less than 10Nm was applied the measure went through the gap indicating the flap was flexing.

  17. OK can Mercedes now change everything on Hamiltons power unit with no consequence. If so please can they do it?

    1. A person somewhere
      13th November 2021, 17:24

      They’d incur further position penalties for the main race if they did that though. As things stand now, Hamilton starts the sprint from 20th, but if something crazy happened and he finished 1st, he’d then start the main race in 6th because of the existing 5 place ICE replacement penalty.

      Of course if they don’t think he can make up many places in the sprint it could be worthwhile.

    2. They can, but the penalty will be for the next race. You can no longer stack up on power unit components unlike before up to 2016.

  18. Bit of karma for Silverstone….

    1. And none for Monza. LOL.

      1. At Monza, Hamilton has chosen to widen his line, making Verstappen on Kerbs.
        It’s 50/50.
        He could have let him pass and cross on exit like other did.
        he took a risk.

  19. MB can appeal but it is hard as they don’t have the wing to be able to see if it took some damage. If they appeal and lose they would lose the whole weekend not just the start position of the sprint apparently.

    1. @andyfromsandy

      It’s unlikely that it would matter. The ruling argues that there is some leniency with regard to broken parts that fail the tests if the car has an accident, but Lewis didn’t have one.

    2. How would it have taken any damage? The stewards’ verdict noted that there had only been normal running.

  20. So Someone didn’t assemble the wing properly or torque a bolt correctly or whatever and there was play in the mechanism letting the disc go through. Well you have to pass the test in the book not a version of it that lets you pass. Unfortunate but someone’s job was to push an 85mm disc through before qualifying to make sure and he or she didn’t do it. most likely since it’s the same wing as always they thought to skip that qc this time.

    1. @dmw

      Or they only did the test at the center (where the disc didn’t go through) and not at the sides.

      1. Or they designed it that way but get caught in the process

        1. Knowing how clever F1 engineers are, it doesn’t sound that far-fetched.

        2. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
          14th November 2021, 9:47

          Yeah, what we will do is deliberately make a part that is scrutineered the most and hope we don’t get caught! A part that has been tested many times already this season. It makes sense that we take the chance that the FIA won’t check this weekend.

    2. Could be it happened under load ie once it was on the track or the first time Hamilton enabled it.

      It’s the correct decision IMHO and it’s hard to take as a Hamilton fan but at least we know it was incompetence and not cheating.

      It might have been damaged but very unlikely. The “torque a bolt correctly” idea from DaveW seems most likely I think.

      Not great timing!

  21. Is Hamilton goint to start the sprint race from last place on the grid or from the pitlane ?

    1. As the FIA gave permission for the wing they could fit it ought to be from last place.

    2. PIT would be smart, too may 1st corner incidents here so its worth starting from the pits to avoid the carnage/picking up punctures on debris

  22. Something went wrong, not intended, but it does help in top speed.

    1. How could anyone except for Merc know if it was inteded or not?

    2. It was only too wide on one side so hard to know any benefit, we don’t even know if it was 1mm or 20mm.

      It would also make the car have more downforce on one side vs the other which isn’t optimal!

      Funny I cannot find any speed trap data or sector times anywhere, anyone seen it?

  23. Seen it all now…

    Season finished well done Rbr and Max for producing a great car and excellent performances.

    1. Agreed here. Congrats to both driver and team.

  24. Lewis’s DQ makes the sprint qualifying a million times more interesting than it would have been otherwise.

  25. Wow are you like 5yo??

  26. Although the stewards concur with MB, somehow I think it is hard to believe that this was not done intentionally by MB. They are in despair towards Red Bull´s performance and what a coincidence that this happens at this point in the championship..
    Furthermore it is strange that the penalty only influences the sprint race and not the real race on Sunday…

    1. A person somewhere
      13th November 2021, 17:58

      Given the near-certainty of being caught (it’s not like the scrutineering check they failed is a new one), the well established rule that failing to comply with the technical regulations results in disqualification from the session, and the likely marginal (if any) gain – I find it hard to believe that it would have been done on purpose. It would be a spectacularly stupid course of action to take!

    2. I think it is hard to believe that this was not done intentionally by MB

      Then they even failed on their ‘intentional cheating’ as the 85mm gap was only on the outer edges.

  27. In Russia Verstappen finished second after starting at the back. This weekend Hamilton has an extra 100km to make his way up the grid (though yes, he gets knocked back five places overnight).

    Championship far, far from over!

    1. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
      13th November 2021, 17:45

      Imagine coping _this_ hard :^)

    2. Verstappen get inordinately lucky in Russia. Sixth or seventh was his normal position without the rain.

      1. @hahostolze
        Lewis gets more of his fair of luck as well. Just see Imola.

    3. @dang A few more factor at play though, such as for example in Russia, Max was set to finish 7th until a good late-race call. And due to rain during qualifying, the grid order was mixed up which meant Max didn’t really lose much time whilst making his way through the pack. I doubt the likes of Perez or Bottas will be held back by the likes of Stroll and Russell this time around.

    4. It’s miles from over. A DNF changes the entire picture – Max might get taken out at the start of the reprint race and be behind Hamilton! Anything could happen.

      There’s no doubt this makes it harder for Hamilton but we’ve all seen stranger things happen in this sport.

  28. So Hamilton and his team did argue the Verstappen thing.
    That’s truly pathetic.

  29. Given Hamilton’s ability, the car he has and that it’s Brazil where you can overtake, by about halfway he’ll be in the top ten. Even if he starts outside it, a podium isn’t out of reach on Sunday. This ‘looks’ bad for him, but it really isn’t an issue to him.

    1. @rocketpanda
      Even if he finishes on the podium, he’ll still be behind Verstappen, hence losing ground.
      It’s hard to see how Hamilton can reduce the gap to Verstappen given the circumstances.

      1. Coming back to this after the Sprint is amusing. Dude got from 20th to 5th and you doubt his and that car’s capability to win the race? I mean even if he gets to the podium – which is 100% completely realistic he would have been on the podium anyway without the penalties so even after being thrown out of qualifying and taking an engine change made literally no difference and handed Verstappen zero advantage.

  30. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
    13th November 2021, 17:45

    Good

  31. Genuine question. Does this mean that Lewis qualifies for the main race where he finishes in the sprint race, + 5 places?

    So if he moves from last up to say 10th, he would then start the main race in 15th?

    1. Yes, or he could take another engine penalties, skip the sprint and start last for the main race.

      1. That might be worth it at this point.

      2. Nope, his new penalty will be at the next race.
        Accumulated penalties is corrected in 2019

  32. If Max wins both sprint and race, with HAM finishing outside top 3 in the former and at most top 5 in latter, then Max would be leading the WDC by 36 pts (with FL going to HAM) with 3 races to go.

    Wow that means Max actually can secure the title next weekend, but most likely the WDC will be over in the penultimate round. Still okay and closer than 2017/18, and even the epic Mika-Schumi 2000 season ended in the penultimate round.

    Still a great season nonetheless!

  33. Don’t understand people complaining about the time it’s taken. The verstappen issue needed clarifying first, and that delayed matters. Also, this is championship deciding. Why use less time than its available?

    I bet they took their time to get all the footage from the cars, which is known to take a lot of time.

    In the end they reached the correct decisions for both issues.

    1. +1… would rather them take the necessary time to get it right!

  34. Hooray! Hopefully Mazepin takes him and he finishes last also.

      1. -1,000 to you. As if your Hammy sycophant minus to me means something.

    1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      14th November 2021, 9:53

      Similarly Valtteri takes out Max and Sergio again.

  35. Slightly off topic but why was ferrari not disqualified when it was discovered their engines were illegal a few years ago? Instead they were told to change the engine design and kept it all a secret.

    1. A person somewhere
      13th November 2021, 18:27

      Because the FIA couldn’t prove it. Then later the existence of a secret agreement with Ferrari was disclosed, along with the introduction of additional rules to police how fuel flow meters were being used, which suggested some rather complicated and difficult to detect fuel flow meter related tricks had been in play.

      So one can infer that Ferrari agreed (under pressure from the FIA, no doubt) to disclose what they’d been up to in respect of fuel flow meters on the proviso that the FIA wouldn’t reveal the details and/or state that they’d been cheating or otherwise criticise Ferrari.

  36. Unsurprising.

  37. Let’s hope we do not get a repeat of the DTM final.

  38. Fair decision, such a shame for the championship even though I am rooting for Max. I dont think its over for Lewis though, still a long way to go.

    1. It’s practically over at this point. Verstappen is not making mistakes, his car is very reliable and he always starts from the two first rows of the grid. Hard to see how he could lose the championship at this point.
      Fair play to him, he drove really well all year long.

  39. Surprised about how many errors Mercedes have done this year.
    They were super clean for many years, but looks like the elastic that were restraining error made « ptoiiing » and they take this year all the errors they havn’t made from last years !
    *plaf* *Aouch*

    1. i think the pressure of true competition is showing their cracks. Mercedes has never really been challenged this hard this consistently for some time now. We saw some cracks when Ferrari was challenging them in 2019, but RBR has really brought it to them this year.

  40. As a racIng fan, best case I want to see racing of the best versus the other best.

    Max vs Ham..

    But second best is leader starting from the back..

    We can look forward to some awesome ovettaking by Lewis with his wing and new engine.

    1. It will be fun to see Lewis work his way up, unlike Bottas!

    2. I was correct, Lewis was excellent.

  41. I cannot believe that this DRS-thing is a mistake. Come on, these are the best engineers and pitcrew working on that car and they have sensors everywhere to see how the wing works out. Everything is precisely measured again and again at the highest level and they know exactly how the DRS is behaving. If the opening is too small the crew would notice it immediately. Too wide, err no. This is a desperate and deliberate move to save the championship. Shame it didn’t work out.

    1. I agree, Merc passed scrutineering prior to FP1 so either the FIA not using correct measurements or sabotage.

      Lets assume merc was cheating why would they be stupid enough cheat in a blatantly obvious manner when the extra few mm DRS opening wouldn’t make much difference on this track anyway?

      1. Lets assume merc was cheating why would they be stupid enough cheat in a blatantly obvious manner when the extra few mm DRS opening wouldn’t make much difference on this track anyway?

        You said it the best way @ccpbioweapon, there is no reason to throw a year worth of work over something so easy to check yet providing so little advantage. It’s just a costly human error.

    2. geoffgroom44 (@)
      13th November 2021, 19:30

      +1

  42. Good that FIA took the time to investigate the Verstappen incident as well as hearing the Mercedes rebuttals. Even better that they wrote this down so concisely yet precisely, this helps the subsequent discussions that will always follow in not straying into speculation as it did before the decision.
    Hamilton will have to make up some places, as Verstappen has earlier in the season. The perfect time for Hamilton to prove why he deserves to win this championship.

  43. Why they took so long?
    The “ERROR” not single maybe …

  44. They should be excluded from the race untill Toto appolgised for claiming Max interfered with their car on live TV.

    Man what a horrible and dishonest group AMG Mercedes F1 has become (or always was maybe?)

  45. geoffgroom44 (@)
    13th November 2021, 19:35

    Ever heard of a Freudian slip.So for 2 races we have been entertained with tape on rear wing components.The dear Max does a rather stupid thing,giving attention to LH’s rear wing after quali. Then we can suspect something else is going on in the background.Seems this is now being reported in ‘Auto, Motor und Sport’, “Advisor Helmut Marko felt that the team of Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas were guilty of the same thing as they criticiised Red Bull in Baku”.
    So it was Red Bull at the back of this scrutiny after quali, after the component had met regulations before quali?

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