Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has revealed the reasons behind Lewis Hamilton’s Drag Reduction System (DRS) issue at last weekend's Brazil F1 Grand Prix. The Austrian team principal explained there were two screws that came undone when the wing broke during qualifying.
Speaking at the Team Principals' media conference, Wolff explained Hamilton’s wing issue, saying:
“We weren't allowed to inspect it, nor to make the argument that the part is broken. And consequently, we found out that two screws came undone in qualifying. And that caused the right side to be irregular.”
Wolff said Hamilton had damaged his rear wing in qualifying, due to which it did not pass FIA scrutiny. The Briton was disqualified from the qualifying session, which led to him starting the sprint race from last place.
Explaining the impact of the loose screws, Wolff continued:
“It was even detrimental to the lap time, but it is what it is. It was reported to the stewards, and that is very different to how these things were handled in the past when you were able to patch up things that got broken during parc ferme.”
Mercedes have argued their case since, and expressed their dismay at the disqualification. However, there was no significant impact of the wing on their overall race result. Hamilton managed to reduce the deficit between him and table leader Red Bull's Max Verstappen to just 14 points.
Mercedes brush aside rumors about illegal wing on Lewis Hamilton's car
Mercedes trackside engineer Andrew Shovlin has brushed aside rumors insinuated by the Red Bull F1 that Hamilton's rear wing could be illegal. The Milton Keynes-based team have had their suspicions over the last few races about a hidden element in Mercedes' rear wing that could be giving their car a performance boost in qualifying where the use of DRS is not permitted.
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However, the FIA is reportedly not suspicious enough yet to investigate the matter. According to Mercedes, the wing has passed FIA checks.