Hamilton was excluded from Friday’s qualifying results in Brazil and sent to the very back of the grid for Saturday’s sprint race after it was found that the gap between his rear wing elements was 0.2mm wider than permitted when DRS was activated. 

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff claimed F1’s usual “modus operandi” was not followed as he expressed frustration at the handling of the investigation after FIA technical delegate Jo Bauer reported Hamilton’s car to the stewards. 

“I don't want to pick out any individuals because everybody tries to do the best possible job in their role,” Wolff said on Saturday evening. 

“But something went against the modus operandi this last 24 hours, which was either under pressure from other stakeholders, or just different. 

"If the modus operandi is different now, you maybe need to look at others also with a more strict and severe eye. 

“I can tell you that in the next few races we are going to look at every single bit of race tape that's going to fall off a car and ask questions.

"In a way, if there was a gentlemen's agreement - if such a thing as a gentlemen's agreement exists in Formula 1, because there are no gentleman - then now it doesn't anymore.

"So you have no leniency of fixing things on a car. If it's broken, it's broken and you can't touch it. This is how it's going to go this year [from now on].”

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Wolff questioned why Red Bull was allowed to repair damage sustained to its rear wing during qualifying at the Mexico City Grand Prix under the same parc ferme conditions. 

“Work on their rear wing was permitted,” Wolff said. “So no difference in terms of parc ferme situation, I don’t think with stewards present.

“This time it was judged if it would have happened during the session we would have been allowed to fix it. But not at the end of the session. 

“Which, both are parc ferme situations so you could ask why during the session and not at the end of the session? 

“Anyways, it is what it is, and we can probably pick examples either way.  Sometimes it was judged harsher, sometimes there was more leniency. And that’s OK. 

“We expected to face the same situation as many of many races we had before. With us it was black and white, ‘you failed the test, and that’s it’. 

“To be honest, I don’t care any more. This is beyond me, I’m not spending my time thinking about decisions that I can’t change anyway, anymore. I’m now we’re looking forward to the racing.”