Lewis Hamilton has been disqualified from the result of yesterday’s qualifying session for Formula 1’s São Paulo Grand Prix following a rear wing issue during the Friday session while Max Verstappen was handed a fine for touching Hamilton’s car in parc fermé after the Mercedes driver had beaten him to pole position by over tenths of a second.
Meanwhile, on track, Alpine’s Fernando Alonso topped the timesheet in the second free practice session, using used soft tyres to take top spot as the bulk of the field ran long runs on harder compound tyres.
Mercedes were called before the stewards after qualifying when the FIA delegate reported that Hamilton’s car had failed a test to measure the size of DRS aperture. The check is described in Technical Directive 011-19.
In lay terms, there is a gap between the upper and lower parts of the rear wing. When the DRS is not activated this gap must be between 10mm and 15mm. The car passed this part of the test. When DRS is activated, which raises the upper element of the wing to a flatter position, the gap must be between 10mm and 85mm. The maximum gap is measured, in accordance with TD/011-19, by pushing an 85mm gauge against the gap with a maximum load of 10N (ten newtons.) If the gauge goes through then the car has failed the test. In this case, the gauge would not pass through at the inner section of the wing, but did at the outer section of the wing.
And following an initial stewards’ hearing on Friday night and a resumption on Saturday morning, Mercedes were ruled to have breached the rules as a result of “something gone wrong”, “a fault with the mechanism, or incorrect assembly of the parts”. The result is that Car 44 (Hamilton) was disqualified from the results of qualifying as per Article 12.4.1 m of the FIA International Sporting Code.
In the aftermath of qualifying, Verstappen touched and examined the rear wing of Hamilton’s car in Parc Fermé. The action was deemed to be a breach of Article 2.5.1 of the FIA International Sporting Code and the stewards fined the championship leader €50,000.
Meanwhile, on track Alonso set the fastest time of the weekend’s second and final practice session, beating Verstappen by eight tenths of a second. Valtteri Bottas was third for Mercedes, 1.1 seconds off the pace set by Alonso.
Verstappen led the way early in the session with a 1:12.102 set on used softs tyres. Hamilton and Bottas finally emerged after 20 minutes but put in conservative laps pon soft tyres to sit in mid-table as thje session headed for the half way point. Red Bull’s Sergio Pérez then jumped to second place behind Verstappen on medium tyres.
With 20 minutes left, Alonso fitted a set of soft tyres and leaped to the top of the timesheet with a lap of 1:11.238 as Bottas then took third with a late effort on soft tyres, with Esteban Ocon fourth in the second Alpine ahead of Hamilton and Pérez.
2021 FIA Formula 1 São Paulo Grand Prix – Free Practice 2
1 Fernando Alonso Alpine/Renault 1:11.238 23 217.754
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Honda 1:12.102 0.864 26 215.145
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:12.355 1.117 24 214.392
4 Esteban Ocon Alpine/Renault 1:12.407 1.169 26 214.238
5 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:12.741 1.503 25 213.255
6 Sergio Pérez Red Bull/Honda 1:12.903 1.665 29 212.781
7 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1:12.997 1.759 37 212.507
8 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:13.078 1.840 31 212.271
9 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:13.099 1.861 33 212.210
10 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1:13.355 2.117 39 211.470
11 Lance Stroll Aston Martin/Mercedes 1:13.426 2.188 41 211.265
12 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren/Mercedes 1:13.448 2.210 25 211.202
13 Lando Norris McLaren/Mercedes 1:13.581 2.343 23 210.820
14 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri/Honda 1:13.608 2.370 32 210.743
15 George Russell Williams/Mercedes 1:13.615 2.377 24 210.723
16 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri/Honda 1:13.726 2.488 38 210.406
17 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin/Mercedes 1:13.747 2.509 42 210.346
18 Nicholas Latifi Williams/Mercedes 1:14.025 2.787 24 209.556
19 Mick Schumacher Haas/Ferrari 1:14.066 2.828 40 209.440
20 Nikita Mazepin Haas/Ferrari 1:14.909 3.671 37 207.083