Lewis Hamilton under investigation after DRS infringement in Brazil

The legality of Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes car was called into question and reported to the stewards on Friday following an alleged technical infringement during qualifying for the Sao Paulo Grand Prix.

Hamilton set the fastest time in qualifying for Saturday’s sprint race, but during a post-qualifying inspection the opening of the Drag Reduction System on his rear wing did not meet the requirements set under the regulations.

“The uppermost rear wing element adjustable positions were checked on car number 44 for compliance with Article 3.6.3 of the 2021 Formula One Technical Regulations,” FIA technical delegate Jo Bauer wrote.

“The requirement for the minimum distance was fulfilled. But the requirement for the maximum of 85mm, when the DRS system is deployed and tested in accordance with TD/011-19, were [sic] not fulfilled.”

The matter was referred to the stewards of the Sao Paulo Grand Prix, who have requested a Mercedes team member attend a hearing into the issue at 19:15 local time.

Breaches of technical regulations have been known to result in disqualifications from results in the past, which, depending on the outcome of the investigation, could see Hamilton forced to start Saturday’s sprint race from the pit lane.

The DRS refers to a flap in the rear wing, which opens to reduce the car’s drag on the straights and aid overtaking.

Although its primary purpose is to improve racing, the DRS car be used freely in certain zones during a qualifying sessions to increase top speed.

Hamilton already has a five-place grid penalty for Sunday’s race due to an engine change.

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