Hamilton disqualified from qualifying and Verstappen fined €50,000

By Sports Desk November 13, 2021

Lewis Hamilton has been disqualified from qualifying in Sao Paulo due to a rear wing infringement and Max Verstappen has been fined €50,000 for touching and examining his title rival's car in a restricted area.

The 36-year-old's Mercedes "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."

Hamilton must now start from the back of Saturday's sprint qualifying race in a major blow to his chances of winning the championship, with Verstappen taking pole.

Verstappen is 19 points clear of Hamilton in the standings as he bids to end Mercedes' seven-year drivers' championship monopoly and deny the Briton an eighth world title.

Hamilton was also forced to take a five-place grid penalty ahead of Sunday's Grand Prix as his car was fitted with a fifth engine due to issues with Mercedes' power units.

Verstappen received a sanction of his own, being hit with a hefty fine after a "breach of Article 2.5.1 of the FIA International Sporting Code."

A fan video captured the 24-year-old touching the rear wing of Hamilton's car in the Parc Ferme after qualifying on Friday.

Related items

  • Russell explains Mercedes protest after British Grand Prix red flag Russell explains Mercedes protest after British Grand Prix red flag

    George Russell has explained Mercedes' protest after they were unable to restart the British Grand Prix following a red flag after a "unique scenario" on the opening lap.

    The British driver collided with Alfa Romeo's Zhou Guanyu in a huge collision heading into the first corner, which left Zhou's car skidding off upside down into the barrier.

    Zhou was retrieved from the vehicle and eventually stretchered away. It was later confirmed that the Chinese driver was conscious, with the incident leading to a delay of almost an hour as the barrier was repaired after the crash.

    Zhou, Williams' Alex Albon and Russell were all unable to take to the grid however, though Mercedes tried to protest with the FIA by arguing that Russell had only exited his car in order to check on Zhou.

    "I jumped out of the car to see if he was okay, I saw it was red flagged. When I came back to the car, I couldn't get it started, so I ran down to the team to check, I told the marshals to leave it but when I got back the car was on the back of the flatbed," he explained to Sky Sports F1.

    "Apparently when you get assistance, you can't restart. The car just had the puncture and there was no doubt that we had the pace to come back to P6 today. 

    "We were trying but the FIA were pretty adamant, it's one of those unique scenarios I guess. I can't really think about it too much at the moment."

    Russell's collision with Zhou came after a bold decision from Mercedes to start on the hard-compound tyre, which he conceded was ultimately not the right call.

    "Ultimately, we took a risk starting on the hard because I made a mistake in qualifying, we started out of position and we thought the risk gave us the best opportunity later in the race but there was no grip on the hardest compound, it's cold out there, I got swamped by all the cars," he said.

  • Alfa Romeo confirm Zhou Guanyu 'conscious' after huge British GP crash Alfa Romeo confirm Zhou Guanyu 'conscious' after huge British GP crash

    Alfa Romeo have confirmed Chinese driver Zhou Guanyu is "conscious" and receiving medical checks following a horror crash in the opening lap of the British Grand Prix.

    The red flag incident occurred after Mercedes driver George Russell was tapped by Alpha Tauri's Pierre Gasly, then colliding with Zhou and resulting in the Alfa Romeo being flipped.

    Zhou's car remained flipped as the Alfa Romeo travelled across the run-off area and over the Armco barrier, then colliding with the fence in front of the grandstand.

    Concern rose as there was no word from the team on the driver's condition, with a delay while he waited to be removed from the car, but thankfully it was later confirmed that he was ok.

    Posting on Twitter, Alfa Romeo wrote: "Following a crash at the start of the British Grand Prix, Zhou Guanyu is conscious and now at the circuit's medical centre to undergo evaluation."

    The incident also left Russell and Williams' Alex Albon retired from the race, though the former tried to argue with the FIA to be allowed to restart as he stopped to check on Zhou after the crash.

    Zhou is in his first year in Formula 1 and has picked up five points for Alfa Romeo this season.

  • Beating Hamilton not 'success' for Mercedes team-mate Russell Beating Hamilton not 'success' for Mercedes team-mate Russell

    George Russell wants to better Lewis Hamilton this season, but the Mercedes man claimed he will not view his Formula One campaign as a success if he does so.

    The Mercedes pair have failed to match the pace of rivals Red Bull and Ferrari this year, effectively confirming an end to the team's monopoly on the Constructors' Championship.

    Seven-time world champion Hamilton in particular has struggled after his controversial last-gasp title loss to Max Verstappen last year, who is on course to defend his title.

    That has led to questions over whether Russell is emerging as Mercedes' nominal first-choice driver, with the 24-year-old having nabbed three podiums to Hamilton's two so far in 2022.

    But Russell will not view beating his team-mate as the bar for success.

    "Obviously, I want to beat my teammate and I’m not going to take offence if he says the same," he told The Guardian ahead of Sunday's British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

    "But I would not see my season as a success purely because I've finished ahead of him more times than he had finished ahead of me.

    "I would see it as a success if I was standing at the top step of the podium."

    Russell grew up idolising Hamilton, who has been one of the sport's dominant forces since he broke through in 2007, and the Briton has nothing but respect for his team-mate.

    However, the nature of their competition makes it difficult to form a friendship that would not get in the way, much in the sense Hamilton's bond with former Mercedes rival Nico Rosberg deteriorated amid a testy title tussle.

    "I guess if you took an average look across F1 team-mates, that is probably the case," Russell added.

    "There are a lot of people who get along in this paddock but overall, we are all fierce rivals. We are all here to be competitive and to try and win. You are in a battle."

    Hamilton will start fifth on the grid at Silverstone, while Russell had to settle for eighth in qualifying.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.