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Hamilton excluded from Brazilian GP qualifying

Lewis Hamilton's Brazilian Grand Prix weekend has been dealt a major blow as he has been excluded from the qualifying results at Interlagos.

Lewis Hamilton will start Saturday's Sprint Qualifying race in Brazil from the back of the grid, or possibly even the pit lane, after the Drag Reduction System (DRS) on his Mercedes car was found to have broken technical regulations. Hamilton was set to take up first place on the grid for Saturday's 24-lap encounter at Interlagos following an impressive showing in qualifying that saw him finish four-tenths clear of World Championship leader Max Verstappen. However, FIA F1 Technical Delegate Jo Bauer found something amiss with the DRS on Hamilton's Mercedes car following Friday afternoon's action. Hamilton's DRS was alleged to have opened up further than the permitted range, and thus reduced drag, while increasing top speed.

Hamilton set to start at the very back

After looking into the matter, the stewards have found that Hamilton's car did in fact break Article 3.6.3 of the 2021 Formula 1 Technical Regulations. The ruling adds to what has already been a tricky weekend for Hamilton, who will serve a separate five-place grid penalty for Sunday's Grand Prix after Mercedes changed his engine ahead of the event. It's not yet clear whether Hamilton will start the Sprint Qualifying race from the back of the grid, or from the pit lane. The FIA are yet to confirm, as the effects of parc ferme regulations to rectify the rear wing issue have to be taken into consideration. Meanwhile, Verstappen has been fined after he touched Hamilton's rear wing under parc ferme conditions post-qualifying.

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