Mercedes technical director, James Allison admits that the German team was “upset and embarrassed” by Lewis Hamilton’s disqualification from the United States Grand Prix.
Finishing second on the road, just 2.225s down on race-winner Max Verstappen, Hamilton was subsequently disqualified, along with Charles Leclerc, for excessive wear to the skid block (plank) beneath his car.
In the latest debrief from the German team, James Allison admits the team was embarrassed by its mistake.
“Of course, the disqualification is a significant blow,” says the Briton. “It’s a miserable feeling, it hurts and everybody here feels it.
“Everybody is upset, embarrassed to a degree as well,” he continues, “because we absolutely don’t like being on the wrong side of the rules and just lamenting the lost points.
“Give it a day or two and that will start to wane and be replaced by the much happier feeling, which is we moved our car forward this weekend and that’s hard to do.
“But we did it and we did it by a decent amount. And with four races left in the championship, four races where I am sure we will stay on the right side of the skid block rules.
“The initial feeling of hurt, disappointment and frustration will pass to be replaced by the sunny optimism of knowing that the car looked bright on this upgrade package, and we’ve got four more races to show what we can do with it.”
Explaining the error, he says: “Austin is a track with a very bumpy surface and therefore you are a bit more vulnerable to bumping the car on the ground. We just simply didn’t take enough margin at the end of free practice 1.
“When we had done our set-up, we checked the plank and everything all looked fine, untouched after the FP1 running,” he adds. “But the results of the race speak for themselves.
“We were illegal, so clearly, we should have had our car set a little bit higher up to give ourselves a little bit more margin. It’s of course a mistake, it’s an understandable sort of mistake in a sprint weekend where it’s so much harder to get that stuff right, especially on a bumpy track.
“But a lesson for us in the future to make sure that we take more margin especially at a track like that with all its bumps.”