Lewis Hamilton goes undercover to inspire school children
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Lewis Hamilton pulled off an emphatic win at the Brazilian Grand Prix, overcoming a disqualification and a grid penalty to close the gap in the world championship, however, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has described some of the events over the weekend as “laughable”. The seven-time world champion had a rough ride at Interlagos, which started strongly by qualifying fastest ahead of the sprint race, in front of an ecstatic crowd.
But things quickly changed as an FIA document revealed Hamilton had been summoned to the stewards regarding the rear wing on the Mercedes.
It all came after Red Bull lodged a complaint to the FIA about the rear on the Mercedes, with the FIA then impounding Hamilton’s wing overnight regarding his drag reduction system (DRS).
The rear wing was found to have breached F1’s technical regulations and was deemed illegal and Hamilton was thrown out of qualifying.
Starting the sprint from P20, Hamilton carved his way through 15 cars in 24 laps, qualifying P5 for Sunday’s event.
Yet Mercedes had opted to take a new engine, which triggered a five-place grid penalty for Hamilton, meaning he actually started the race from P10, with his main title rival Max Verstappen starting in second behind Valtteri Bottas.
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But fireworks erupted for Hamilton at the end of the race after the 36-year-old pulled off a stunning comeback to close the gap to Verstappen in the driver’s standings to just 14 points.
But Wolff was left fuming at the FIA after Red Bull were granted permission to change certain elements on their rear wing ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix.
“The whole weekend went against us,” said Wolff speaking about qualifying after the race. “We had a broken part on our rear wing which we couldn’t look at, couldn’t analyse, failed the test and got disqualified, very harsh.
“And then you see on the Red Bull, repairs three times in a row on their rear wing whilst being in parc fermé with no consequence.”
The race wasn’t without drama between the main title protagonists as they very nearly had their third coming together of the season in Brazil.
After chasing the Red Bull down, Hamilton pounced on Verstappen on lap 48, heading towards Turn 4.
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With Hamilton on the outside, Verstappen defended hard into the corner, leading the seven-time world champion bumping across the run-off area.
The stewards decided it didn’t deserve an investigation, whereas Wolff felt “at least” it should’ve been a five-second time penalty for Verstappen.
“Just brushing it under the carpet is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s laughable,” said Wolff.
“I think the stewards have a difficult life anyway, whatever decision they take, one team is going to be grumpy.
“In a certain way, when you are taking punches all weekend and then you have such a situation on top of everything, you are just losing faith in a way.”
Michael Masi, the FIA’s race director, stood by his decision afterwards, despite telling reporters the FIA did not have access to all the pictures when making the call.
“No, it was only the cameras that are broadcast, as I’ve said before, which is basically what we have access to throughout,” he said.
“The forward-facing, the 360, there’s all of the camera angles that we don’t get live that will be downloaded and we’ll have a look at them post-race,” he said. “It hasn’t been obtained yet. It’s been requested.”
“And let’s not forget, we have the overall let them race principles, and looking at it all, with all of the angles that we had available, that philosophy was adopted.”
“Obviously if you are on the receiving end of a penalty I think everyone feels unfairly treated.”
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