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Brazil, FP2: Alonso tops second practice in Sao Paulo

Hamilton excluded from Interlagos qualifying for wing irregularity, Verstappen fined


By Olivier Ferret

13 November 2021 - 17:07
Brazil, FP2: Alonso tops second (...)

Lewis Hamilton has been disqualified from the result of yesterday’s qualifying session for Formula 1’s São Paulo Grand Prix following a rear wing issue during the Friday session while Max Verstappen was handed a fine for touching Hamilton’s car in parc fermé after the Mercedes driver had beaten him to pole position by over tenths of a second.

Meanwhile, on track, Alpine’s Fernando Alonso topped the timesheet in the second free practice session, using used soft tyres to take top spot as the bulk of the field ran long runs on harder compound tyres.

Mercedes were called before the stewards after qualifying when the FIA delegate reported that Hamilton’s car had failed a test to measure the size of DRS aperture. The check is described in Technical Directive 011-19.

In lay terms, there is a gap between the upper and lower parts of the rear wing. When the DRS is not activated this gap must be between 10mm and 15mm. The car passed this part of the test. When DRS is activated, which raises the upper element of the wing to a flatter position, the gap must be between 10mm and 85mm. The maximum gap is measured, in accordance with TD/011-19, by pushing an 85mm gauge against the gap with a maximum load of 10N (ten newtons.) If the gauge goes through then the car has failed the test. In this case, the gauge would not pass through at the inner section of the wing, but did at the outer section of the wing.

And following an initial stewards’ hearing on Friday night and a resumption on Saturday morning, Mercedes were ruled to have breached the rules as a result of “something gone wrong”, “a fault with the mechanism, or incorrect assembly of the parts”. The result is that Car 44 (Hamilton) was disqualified from the results of qualifying as per Article 12.4.1 m of the FIA International Sporting Code.

In the aftermath of qualifying, Verstappen touched and examined the rear wing of Hamilton’s car in Parc Fermé. The action was deemed to be a breach of Article 2.5.1 of the FIA International Sporting Code and the stewards fined the championship leader €50,000.

Meanwhile, on track Alonso set the fastest time of the weekend’s second and final practice session, beating Verstappen by eight tenths of a second. Valtteri Bottas was third for Mercedes, 1.1 seconds off the pace set by Alonso.

Verstappen led the way early in the session with a 1:12.102 set on used softs tyres. Hamilton and Bottas finally emerged after 20 minutes but put in conservative laps pon soft tyres to sit in mid-table as thje session headed for the half way point. Red Bull’s Sergio Pérez then jumped to second place behind Verstappen on medium tyres.

With 20 minutes left, Alonso fitted a set of soft tyres and leaped to the top of the timesheet with a lap of 1:11.238 as Bottas then took third with a late effort on soft tyres, with Esteban Ocon fourth in the second Alpine ahead of Hamilton and Pérez.

01 Fernando Alonso Alpine Renault A521 1:11.238 23
02 Max Verstappen Red Bull Honda RB16B 1:12.102 26
03 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes W12 1:12.355 24
04 Esteban Ocon Alpine Renault A521 1:12.407 26
05 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W12 1:12.741 25
06 Sergio Pérez Red Bull Honda RB16B 1:12.903 29
07 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Ferrari C41 1:12.997 37
08 Carlos Sainz Ferrari SF21 1:13.078 31
09 Charles Leclerc Ferrari SF21 1:13.099 33
10 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo Ferrari C41 1:13.355 39
11 Lance Stroll Aston Martin Mercedes AMR21 1:13.426 41
12 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren Mercedes MCL35M 1:13.448 25
13 Lando Norris McLaren Mercedes MCL35M 1:13.581 23
14 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri Honda AT02 1:13.608 32
15 George Russell Williams Mercedes FW43B 1:13.615 24
16 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri Honda AT02 1:13.726 38
17 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin Mercedes AMR21 1:13.747 42
18 Nicholas Latifi Williams Mercedes FW43B 1:14.025 24
19 Mick Schumacher Haas Ferrari VF-21 1:14.066 40
20 Nikita Mazepin Haas Ferrari VF-21 1:14.909 37

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