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Mercedes

Mercedes must learn from 'understandable' disqualification error

Mercedes lost a podium result in the United States after its car was. found to have breached the technical regulations.

Hamilton US
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Mercedes Technical Director James Allison believes the team's breach of the regulations which led to a disqualification in the United States Grand Prix was an “understandable mistake”.

Lewis Hamilton finished in second place behind race winner Max Verstappen to secure his sixth podium of the year.

However, he was disqualified after post-race checks revealed his rear skid blocks were found to be worn away beyond the acceptable limit defined by the regulations.

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc was also disqualified from the classification due to the same breach.

“At a Sprint weekend, you are under much more pressure, you have just a solitary hour at the very front of the weekend,” explained Allison.

“In Free Practice 1 you have to get the car ready for the next session, which is qualifying, the next session which is sprint shootout, the next session which is the Sprint race and then the race itself.

“After that one hour basically you have cast your die. You have chosen your setup and you have then got to run the rest of the weekend with the bets you placed in that one hour of running.”

'Learn from our mistakes'

Another factor was that the Circuit of the Americas is known to be one of the bumpiest circuits on the calendar which resulted in even more contact between the floor and the asphalt.

Allison has vowed that it will be more conservative with its ride height going forward at bumpier tracks.

“Austin is a track with a very bumpy surface and therefore you are a bit more vulnerable to bumping the car on the ground,” said Allison.

“We just simply didn’t take enough margin at the end of Free Practice 1.

“When we had done our setup we checked the plank and everything all looked fine, untouched after the FP1 running. But the results of the race speak for themselves.

“We were illegal, so clearly, we should have had our car set a little bit higher up to give ourselves a little bit more margin.

“It's of course a mistake, it's an understandable sort of mistake in a Sprint weekend where it's so much harder to get that stuff right, especially on a bumpy track.

“But a lesson for us in the future to make sure that we take more margin, especially at a track like that with all its bumps.”

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