Mercedes technical director James Allison has ensured drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell that the team will be paying close attention to their skid blocks in the final four rounds of the season after they led to the former’s disqualification from the United States Grand Prix.
Hamilton fought back after an unfavourable strategy placed him behind race leader Max Verstappen and McLaren’s Lando Norris after the final round of pit stops to finish just two seconds behind the reigning world champion, but was later disqualified after Mercedes were found to have been running an illegal ride height.
This disqualification combined with a DNF at the Qatar Grand Prix prior to the trip to Texas means that Hamilton will travel to Mexico City this weekend knowing that he needs to comfortably outscore home hero Sergio Perez to keep the battle for P2 in the standings alive.
In his customary post-race address to the fans, Allison explained: “Of course, the disqualification is a significant blow. It’s a miserable feeling. It hurts and everybody here feels it. Everybody is upset, [and] embarrassed to a degree as well because we absolutely don’t like being on the wrong side of the rules and just lamenting the lost points.
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“Give it a day or two and that will start to wane and be replaced by the much happier feeling, which is we moved our car forward this weekend and that’s hard to do. But we did it and we did it by a decent amount. And with four races left in the championship, four races where I am sure we will stay on the right side of the skid block rules.
“The initial feeling [of] hurt, disappointment and frustration will pass to be replaced by the sunny optimism of knowing that the car looked bright on this upgrade package, and we’ve got four more races to show what we can do with it.”
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With the disqualification meaning that Hamilton failed to score points in the Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas, he heads to the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez with a 39-point deficit to chase down.
Meanwhile, in the Constructor Championship standings, Mercedes hold just a 22-point lead over nearest rivals Ferrari with the two teams locked into an intense battle for P2 in the standings heading into the final four rounds of the season.
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