The seven-time world champion was comfortably fastest in qualifying at Interlagos to claim pole position for Saturday’s sprint race, having posted a lap over four-tenths clear of title rival Max Verstappen

As a result, Hamilton is due to share the front row of the grid along with Verstappen for the 24-lap sprint race in Brazil. 

But Hamilton’s car has been referred to the stewards by FIA technical delegate Jo Bauer after it was found to have failed a technical inspection following the session. 

The issue relates to the operation of his Drag Reduction System. 

“The uppermost rear wing element adjustable positions were checked on car number 44 for compliance with Article 3.6.3 of the 2021 Formula 1 Technical Regulations,” Bauer noted. 

“The requirement for the minimum distance was fulfilled. But the requirement for the maximum of 85mm, when the DRS system is deployed and tested in accordance with TD/011-19, were not fulfilled.”

Mercedes have been called to meet with the FIA stewards at 7.15pm local time (10.15pm GMT) regarding the matter. 

A breach of the technical regulations could lead to Hamilton being excluded from the results of qualifying and sent to the back of the grid, or forced into a pit lane start. 

Hamilton has already been hit with a five-place grid penalty for Sunday’s grand prix after Mercedes changed the engine on his car.