Lewis Hamilton has claimed that a number of other drivers were running illegal cars at the US Grand Prix last weekend.
The findings showed up in scrutineering, with the stewards delivering their verdict nearly four hours after the race had ended with Hamilton a close second to Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
Just four cars were checked: those of Hamilton, Leclerc, Verstappen and third-placed finisher, McLaren’s Lando Norris, who moved up a slot when his fellow Briton was excluded.
Speaking ahead of Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix about the only disqualification of his Formula One career, Hamilton said: ‘I heard from several sources that there were a lot of other cars that were illegal and they were not tested so they got away with it.
Lewis Hamilton has reignited row over his disqualification from the United States Grand Prix
Hamilton (right) and Charles Leclerc (left) together posted a cryptic message on social media this week after their dramatic disqualification from the United States Grand Prix in Austin
The image of the pair looking miserable at a press conference in Texas was captioned: ‘Mood’
‘I have been racing here for 16 years and there have been many other scenarios like this where some people have got away with it, and some have been unlucky and been tested.
‘There needs to be a better structure to make sure it is fair and even across the board.’
Mail Sport understands that the quartet were selected because oscillation data available to the FIA demonstrated they were the ones most conspicuously bumping along and so prone to filing their planks.
An FIA insider indicated that limited resources meant not all the cars’ floors could be measured in a timely manner.
Hamilton, buoyed by the US-fresh upgrade to the floor of his Mercedes – of all ironic areas – revealed how he learned of his fate last Sunday evening, saying: ‘I had just come out of the press conference and was about to get into the ice tub when Toto (Wolff) came running down and told me.
Hamilton’s car failed a post-race plank inspection and his second-place finish was nullified
Hamilton (front) and Leclerc (back) will look to bounce back in Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix
‘It was devastating because it was such a great day and a great race.
‘I didn’t find out fully until I was home. I was deflated but there were a lot of positives to take from the day.
‘We have never had that problem in Austin before. It is because we had a sprint race and the car was set from Friday morning, which isn’t right, especially at the bumpiest track.
‘That is the only reason there were failures. An easy fix is that we should be able to change the floors.
‘The (plank illegality) wasn’t the reason we were as fast as we were, and we hope for another strong weekend here.’