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Charles Leclerc

Ferrari blame bizarre factor in Leclerc disqualification

Charles Leclerc lost his sixth place in the United States Grand Prix after failing post-race inspections.

Leclerc US
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Ferrari has pointed to a change in wind direction as a contributing factor to why Charles Leclerc was disqualified from the United States Grand Prix for excessive plank wear.

The polesitter finished sixth at the Circuit of the Americas but his car was one of four selected for further detailed inspection by the FIA Technical Delegate, including on the plank underneath the car.

The skid block, introduced as a safety feature in 1994 after the deaths of Roland Ratzenberger and Ayrton Senna, was worn excessively during the race and the Ferrari of Leclerc and Mercedes of P2 finisher Lewis Hamilton both failed the inspections for the same reason, with Lando Norris bumped up to second and Carlos Sainz inheriting third place while Williams rookie Logan Sargeant picked up a point for 10th place.

The FIA does simply not have enough resource or time to check every single aspect of every car after every race, with the idea of random checks being used as a deterrent against anyone thinking it would be possible to break the rules and get away with it.

Ferrari explain Leclerc DSQ

"Our car was below the minimum threshold by a few tenths [of a millimetre], but enough to bring the stewards to consider [our car] illegal," explained Ferrari Sporting Director Diego Ioverno.

"The Sprint weekend is very peculiar. You have very little time to prepare the car, basically only one session, FP1, and then you go into parc ferme.

"We knew it would have been tricky [with the ride height] and this is the reason why we also lifted the car throughout FP1 – and from our consideration, it should have been okay.

"As a matter of fact, it turned out that we were too marginal, and also because of the wind that changed direction and had a stronger intensity than what was forecasted, this brought our car to be illegal at the end of the race.

"With hindsight, rewinding the weekend, we may have lifted even more the car, but we would have lost performance – but we are here always to optimise our own performance."

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