F1 Tech Analysis: Verstappen’s Performance in the US

Red Bull continued to perform well at the United States Grand Prix, with Max Verstappen winning both the sprint and Grand Prix races, although Lewis Hamilton was able to challenge him but couldn’t secure a victory, and both Hamilton and Charles Leclerc were disqualified for not complying with the FIA rules regarding the thickness of the plank assembly on their cars.

Highlights

‣ Red Bull and Max Verstappen won both races at the United States Grand Prix
‣ Red Bull’s dominance was reduced on Sunday due to cooler temperatures and less tire degradation
‣ Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc were disqualified for not complying with the FIA rules regarding ride height and plank wear
‣ The combination of a bumpy track and limited time for testing due to the sprint race format contributed to the technical issues faced by teams


Red Bull and Max Verstappen continue to showcase their dominance in Formula 1, winning both the sprint race and the Grand Prix at the United States Grand Prix. Despite some challenges, Verstappen held off Lewis Hamilton’s pursuit and emerged as the victor. However, the main talking point of the weekend was the disqualification of Hamilton and Charles Leclerc for “technical reasons”. Let’s dive deep into the real technical reason behind their disqualification.

Red Bull’s dominance was slightly diminished on Sunday due to cooler air temperatures, which resulted in less tyre degradation. This allowed the drivers to push harder for longer periods. Verstappen faced difficulties with his brakes throughout the race, making it more challenging for him. Red Bull made a technical decision to raise the car’s height and use a maximum downforce rear wing, which balanced the car’s performance across the field. This adjustment, along with the car’s ability to preserve the tyres, contributed to Verstappen’s victories.

Hamilton and Leclerc’s disqualifications were a result of their cars’ non-compliance with the FIA rules. The Circuit of the Americas is known for its bumps, requiring ground-effect cars to run at a higher ride height to preserve the plank under the floor. During practice, teams made different adjustments to their cars. Red Bull and McLaren raised their cars, while Mercedes and Ferrari made different changes. Hamilton and Leclerc’s cars had a low ride height, causing more sparks and contact with the asphalt and resulting in higher plank consumption.

Article 3.5.9 e. of F1’s technical regulations states that the plank’s thickness should be maintained within a certain range. The cars must not wear the plank by more than a millimetre per race. Unfortunately, the combination of the bumpy track in Austin and the limited time for testing ride height configurations due to the Sprint race format led to Hamilton and Leclerc’s cars violating this regulation.

Overall, this weekend’s race was filled with excitement and technical challenges. Teams introduced upgrades, and the plank situation affected the final results. It serves as a reminder for the FIA and F1 to consider allowing more time for teams to adjust their setups and find the right balance. With the hope of more thrilling races and fewer technical issues, Formula 1 fans can look forward to the upcoming weeks.

Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez is a senior writer at F1Highlights.com. With a passion for motorsports, Albert brings a unique perspective to the world of Formula One. With over five years of experience as a sports reporter, he has honed his skills in capturing the essence of the sport.

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