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Toto Wolff

Wolff defiant over Hamilton: I'd take the disqualification

The Mercedes Team Principal felt it was more important to challenge Max Verstappen for a win instead of play it conservative on car setup.

Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff says he would take the disqualification handed to Lewis Hamilton "every day of the week" after the team showed improved performance.

Hamilton finished second on the road in the United States Grand Prix, but was later disqualified after it was found that the skid blocks on his W14 were 0.05mm over the wear limit.

Charles Leclerc also fell foul of the rule and had his P6 expunged, marking the first disqualifications for plank wear since 1994.

While Wolff thought it was an unfortunate end after Hamilton chased Max Verstappen for the win in the closing stages, he was firm that he would take the disqualification - just the second of Hamilton's career.

Wolff: Many more teams were probably over the limit

"I would take the disqualification because we got it wrong," Wolff told Sky Sports.

"I think a disqualification running for a race win and seeing the performance [the upgraded W14 showed is better] against running P3 and ending up 25 seconds adrift.

"So every day of the week, I'll go for the disqualification."

When both Leclerc and Hamilton were disqualified it prompted calls for the FIA to investigate their teammates, on the basis that they could also be over the limit.

The reason the FIA does not check every car is due to the amount of time it would take, with a race result potentially taking until the Monday after the race to be declared.

Speaking to various teams up and down the paddock, Wolff believes there were more drivers who potentially fell foul of the rule.

"That's the feedback we got from the other teams," said Wolff.

"Chatting with the drivers and also on a management level, many, many teams were probably over [the wear limit]."

When asked if the small margins gained Hamilton any extra performance, Wolff added: "Every millimetre you go down you're finding large chunks of performance with these ground effect cars.

"That played an element because we've got more downforce, which is a positive but then you're smashing the car on the bumps a little bit more."

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