Lewis Hamilton was disqualified from the results of qualifying in Brazil after the rear wing on his Mercedes was found to have exceeded the maximum permitted distance of 85mm between its two elements when the DRS was activated by just 0.2mm.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff confirmed the team had since received the rear wing back after it was impounded by the FIA under seal during the Interlagos weekend and shed more light behind why it failed the test.

“We got the rear wing back and, as we thought, it was broken,” Wolff explained on Friday at the inaugural Qatar Grand Prix. “It broke in qualifying. 

“We didn’t pass the 85mm slot gap test on the far right side. We passed it on the left and the middle, but not on the middle by a fraction of a millimetre. And that’s fine. 

“We weren’t allowed to inspect it, nor to make the argument that the part is being broken and consequently, we found out that two screws became undone in qualifying and that caused that right side to be irregular.”

Mercedes was angered by how Hamilton’s rear wing case was treated and Wolff claimed that the FIA had followed “a different modus operandi” in its handling of the case over the Brazil weekend. 

Wolff added the damage sustained to Hamilton’s wing was “probably even detrimental” to his performance in qualifying but insisted Mercedes has now “moved on”. 

“It was reported to the stewards and that was very different to how these things were handled in the past where you would be able to patch up things that got broken during parc ferme,” Wolff said. 

“But we’ve moved on, it’s a race gone. We were obviously able to turn it around. 

“I wish that Lewis had been able to take more points from the Sprint Qualifying, but that is the past. 

“I think now the rules are in a way reset and we’re going to do the best out of it for the current grand prix and the next ones to come.”