The FIA’s Plank Checks at the US Grand Prix
In a surprising turn of events at the recent US Grand Prix, the FIA only measured the planks of four cars after the race. The findings led to disqualifications for Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc, as their planks were deemed illegal. Max Verstappen and Lando Norris, on the other hand, had legal planks and were not penalized.
Failure Rate and Protocols
Interestingly, despite the 50% failure rate on the bumpy Circuit of the Americas (COTA) track, the FIA decided to stick with its usual protocols and did not sample any other cars further down the grid. This decision raised eyebrows among the F1 community and fans alike.
The Importance of Planks
Planks are an essential component of an F1 car’s floor. They are designed to keep the car grounded and prevent excessive underbody airflow, which can lead to reduced performance and potential safety hazards. The planks also serve as a key aspect of technical regulations set by the FIA to maintain fairness and competitiveness in the sport.
Hamilton and Leclerc’s Disqualifications
The disqualifications of Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc came as a blow to their respective teams, Mercedes and Ferrari. Both drivers had put up commendable performances during the race, but their illegal planks overshadowed their achievements. The teams faced criticism for not ensuring compliance with the regulations.
Verstappen and Norris Dodge the Bullet
On the other end of the spectrum, Max Verstappen and Lando Norris were relieved to have avoided disqualification. Their cars passed the plank checks, and they were able to retain their positions and points. This outcome sparked debates about the consistency of the FIA’s procedures and raised questions about the effectiveness of their checks.
The incident at the US Grand Prix serves as a wake-up call for teams to double-check their compliance with technical regulations. It also highlights the need for the FIA to review and potentially revise their protocols to ensure a fair and transparent approach to all competitive elements of Formula 1.
As the season progresses, teams and drivers must remain vigilant and attentive to every detail to avoid unnecessary penalties that could impact their championship standings. The FIA, on its part, should consider implementing more thorough checks not only at post-race inspections but also during the course of the event to address any potential discrepancies proactively.