Sao Paulo Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton disqualified from qualifying, Max Verstappen fined 50,000 euros

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Max Verstappen trails Lewis Hamilton by 19 points in drivers' championship. There are four races left

Lewis Hamilton was disqualified from qualifying at Sao Paulo Grand Prix because of a technical violation on his Mercedes car.

After he won the Saturday'sprint' race, his Mercedes' rear wing was found to be in violation of rules.

This means that Hamilton will start the "sprint" from last place with Max Verstappen, his title rival, on pole.

Verstappen was also fined 50,000 Euros for touching Hamilton's car during qualifying.

This fine is equivalent to PS42.700

As the season approaches its climax, Hamilton's title hopes could be severely damaged by his decision to penalize him.

Verstappen trails Hamilton by 19 points in this world championship, which has four races and a maximum score of 107 points.

After Mercedes fitted a new engine for his car, the Briton has a penalty of five places on the grid. He was completing his fifth season. The maximum is three.

Hamilton will finish ahead of Verstappen by five points. The Dutchman will still be victorious in the world championship if Verstappen finishes second at all three races.

The'sprint' is a race that covers a third of the distance of a grand Prix. It sets the grid for Sunday’s main event and awards points to the top three.

The sprint winner gets three points, the second-place driver gets two and the third receives one.

Hamilton's car: What went wrong?

After Hamilton had set a lap record that was 0.438 seconds faster than Verstappen's in Friday's qualifying session, Hamilton's car was referred by the stewards.

Red Bull had complained to the governing body, the FIA, about Hamilton's rear wing.

Officials examined the wing and discovered that it was not in compliance with the rules concerning the maximum distance between its elements during the deployment of DRS overtaking aid.

DRS controls the upper flap on the rear wing and lifts it onto specified areas of the lap to reduce drag.

The distance between the outer sections of the wings was greater than the 85mm maximum allowed.

Mercedes claimed that the design was meant to comply with the rules. The stewards agreed that the design met the intent of regulation and that there was no question that Mercedes intended to exceed the maximum dimensions by design or action.

The stewards stated that there was no doubt that the extra gap was due to play in the DRS activator, pivots or some other fault with the mechanism.

Mercedes' argument that there was "something wrong" was accepted by the stewards, but Hamilton was disqualified for not following the rules.

Verstappen was what?

Verstappen was offended when he looked at Hamilton's car following qualifying.

Stewards stated that it was evident "that there wasn't significant force when Verstappen touched down on the wing".

They also said that Verstappen's actions were "no bearing" upon Hamilton's problem.

The stewards agreed that drivers touch cars after races and qualifying - Verstappen pointed this out to them.

They added that "This general tendency was largely harmless, and has not been uniformly policened."

"Nevertheless, it is against the parc ferme regulation. It has significant potential for causing harm."

Stewards stated that similar offenses could result in different penalties.