Brazilian GP: Lewis Hamilton facing disqualification from F1 qualifying after DRS infringement

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Lewis Hamilton’s attempts at gaining a record-breaking eighth F1 world title could be doomed to failure.

After qualifying on Friday at Interlagos in Brazil, an investigation done by FIA technical delegate Jo Bauer found that Hamilton’s Mercedes DRS top flap on the rear wing was opening to a greater amplitude than that authorized by the regulation.

This comes after Hamilton beat his championship rival Max Verstappen, earning him the pole position for the sprint race on Saturday and also the chance to earn up to three points to reduce the gap.

Hamilton could be disqualified if his car is found guilty of breaching the technical regulations and that will in turn see him begin sprint qualifying at the back of the grid, and that also determines the grid for Sunday’s Grand Prix. This could be a huge turning point.

Verstappen already commands a 19 point lead over Hamilton who is in 2nd and the gap could be even bigger if Hamilton starts the Brazilian Grand Prix from the back of the grid.

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Enter Giveaway

Before this incident was reported to the FIA, Hamilton was pleased about the improvement shown by Mercedes since the Mexico GP, he said:

"We've been working so hard to get this car right, it's been tough. So to finally get the car feeling like it did today, it feels great and it's just a testament to all the hard work in the garage and at home to try and pull out everything we have in the car.

"The last two poles I've had, I've had a penalty. So it's a bit unfortunate to have the penalty but it is what it is.

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"I don't know if the pace will translate to the race, but I've been going from P3 and I sit there for the whole hour trying to make the right set-up changes in practice and the anxiety you get is crazy.

"A lot of times I get it wrong and today I got it right and the car was really nice to drive. It was everything I wanted and then that enabled me to keep pushing and you could just see purple, purple, purple and I was just gaining each time.

"I don't know how we can go from one track where they are half a second ahead to then being behind, but anyway they will be very strong in the race tomorrow and I hope Valtteri [Bottas] gets a good start."

The final decision on the sanction will be made on Saturday morning Brazilian time. Jo Bauer and his team hope to have new elements in their possession before making the critical decision.

A representative of Mercedes has been summoned by the FIA to discuss the incident.

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