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Verstappen: Both team’s cars should be checked if one is illegal

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Max Verstappen insists that Ferrari and Mercedes should have had both cars checked for plank wear after each having one driver disqualified in the United States Grand Prix.

Both Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc were disqualified once post-race checks discovered their cars failed to comply with the regulations governing plank wear.

Despite many drivers – including Verstappen – complaining about the bumps at the Circuit of the Americas, the FIA maintained its usual protocol of only checking four cars.

Therefore, the sister Ferrari of Carlos Sainz was promoted up to a podium place in third, while George Russell moved up to seventh.

Hamilton revealed that he had been informed other cars would have failed the test, prompting him to suggest that a “better structure” should be implemented to ensure that other drivers can’t “get away with it”.

Asked whether the FIA should adopt a policy of analysing every car post-race or not at all, Verstappen contended: “Ah but then you get the race result on Tuesday, I guess, when you have to check out the car. The problem is that it’s just impossible to check everything, but I think the thought process from every team is that no one wants to be illegal. So no one sets up the car to be illegal.

“But then of course you have these random checks that get carried out. Sometimes it’s the top four, sometimes it’s in the middle of the field, the back. That’s just how it goes. You can’t check every car for every single part of the car. Otherwise we need 100 more people to do these kind of things.”

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB19. 21.10.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 19, United States Grand Prix, Austin, Texas, USA, Sprint Day.

While Verstappen understands why every car can’t be examined, the Dutchman believes both of one team’s cars should be investigated if one has breached the rules.

“I think the only thing is when you check one car of the team and it’s illegal, then I think you should check the other one as well,” he continued. “That for me is the only thing. Otherwise you DQ one, and the other one moves up one position, when normally you always run quite similar setups.”

Verstappen has also criticised the Sprint format once again, asserting that the entire issue would have been avoided if the teams were granted more than one practice hour before locking in their chosen set-ups for the weekend under parc ferme regulations.

“I think we should just get rid of the Sprint weekend, and then everyone can set up their cars normally,” he argued. “Because it wouldn’t have happened if we would have had a normal race weekend I think.

“These things only happen really I think when you have a Sprint weekend when everything is so rushed in-between FP1 and qualifying, you think ‘uhhh I think we might be OK’. From our side, I think we went a bit too conservative, but that of course is still better than the other way.”

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