F1: Lewis Hamilton admits Brazil pole disqualification left him ‘DESTRUCTED’ before moving to fifth
Lewis Hamilton admits he was ‘DUSTED’ by disqualification before moving to fifth in the final sprint in Brazil’s sprint race, leading team boss Toto Wolff to swear to ‘f*** them all’… but title rival Max Verstappen still has still ‘suspicious’ about the Mercedes
Lewis Hamilton has admitted that disqualification from qualifying ahead of the Sao Paulo Grand Prix left him ‘devastated’ before making an incredible recovery drive in the sprint race.
Hamilton had dominated qualifying for the event at Brazil’s Interlagos circuit, but his rear wing was found to have broken technical regulations after Friday’s drama, regarding opening too much while being used for the Air Resistance System (DRS)
This disqualified him from the session, but after starting from the back of the grid on Saturday, he drove through the grid from 20th – and last – to finish in fifth place.
Lewis Hamilton admits his disqualification in Brazil after being ‘devastated’ by qualifying
But in Saturday’s sprint race, he stormed through the field to fifth in an impressive comeback
With a five-place grid drop already in place for an engine replacement earlier in the weekend, it means he will start Sunday’s Sao Paulo Grand Prix from tenth place, as he rekindles his hopes of an eighth world championship. want to blow.
Hamilton admits, however, the verdict against him was difficult to take, as it came 18 hours after his car was first examined – a delay that came after it was discovered Hamilton’s title rival Max Verstappen had illegally touched the Briton’s rear wing after the session. .
‘It was definitely tough’ [waiting for the decision]. The team worked with the stewards. I just worked with my engineers and kept morale high with the mechanics and focused on the work ahead and didn’t think about it,” he told Sky Sports.
Max Verstappen appeared to be mainly interested in the rear wing of Hamilton’s car on Friday
‘[On the punishment] It was devastating, but you have to keep your wits about you and keep going.’
Hamilton’s storm across the field sparked many in the Mercedes team, including team principal Toto Wolff, who radioed Hamilton after the race by saying ‘f*** them all’.
Wolff claimed his comments were of a mentality rather than aimed at anyone in particular, before saying his team was in good shape following Valtteri Bottas’ victory in the sprint race.
Toto Wolff was pleased with the pace of his Mercedes cars after the sprint race
“I didn’t mean it in the direction of rules,” he said. “It’s a mentality we have when there are hardships. The thing is, yesterday the car was tested and two hours before the race we were disqualified, it was sad. There are processes to follow and we had cars that violated the regulations.
“Sometimes after the biggest frustrations with F1, you see a great 60 minutes with Valtteri in total control. We had a great car.
“He didn’t let others get close. Lewis made 15 overtakes to finish fifth. It was great to forget about politics and see great races.”
Max Verstappen had to settle for second at Interlagos after a bad start from pole
The Dutchman (back) lost to Valtteri Bottas who won the race
Verstappen, meanwhile, was fined up to £43,000 for his breach of the parc ferme rules by touching another car, and endured a poor sprint race after losing the lead to Bottas in the first corner before finishing second – although he opened his world championship lead to 21 points over Hamilton.
The Dutchman admitted after the race that the reason he checked Hamilton’s rear wing on Friday was because he believes Mercedes is gaining an unfair advantage, although Mercedes boss Wolff has stated that, apart from Friday, his team has always followed the rules. has kept.
Verstappen said: “We have our suspicions and I still think there is something going on with the main plane (from the rear wing) that is giving them top speed. There is clearly something going on.’