Unanswered Questions: FIA’s Random Checks for Only 4 Cars and the Plank Rule Saga

Plankgate A Deeper Look at F1's Disqualifications Image
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FIA’s Random Checks for Only 4 Cars and the Plank Rule Saga. In the world of F1, where rules can be the difference between victory and disqualification, FIA’s random checks have recently taken center stage. 

Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc, 2 prominent drivers, faced disqualification at the United States Grand Prix due to excessive plank wear

This rare event has sparked a series of unanswered questions. 

Why were only 4 cars subjected to these checks? 

Are the current scrutineering practices adequate? 

In this exploration of the plank rule saga, we delve into the intricacies of Formula 1 regulations and the need for a closer look at the selection process for these critical checks.

FIA’s Random Checks for Only 4 Cars and the Plank Rule Saga

In the realm of Formula 1, precision and rules are paramount, and recently, the spotlight has shifted to the FIA’s random checks. 

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton were disqualified at Austin GP due to too much plank wear. 

This rare occurrence has ignited a plethora of intriguing questions. Why were only four cars, including those of the top four teams, subject to these scrutineering checks? 

Background on Plank Rule Violations

Within Formula 1, a strict adherence to regulations is paramount, and the plank rule holds a significant place in this intricate web of requirements. 

This rule mandates that there should be minimal wear on the plank, a component positioned beneath the car. 

The plank serves as a critical element, ensuring that the car doesn’t run too low to the ground.

Violations of this rule have been historically rare, with notable cases such as Michael Schumacher’s disqualification in the 1994 Belgian Grand Prix. 

Understanding the background of these plank rule violations offers insight into their significance within the sport.

Recent Disqualifications

In a recent turn of events, the Formula 1 world witnessed a rare occurrence, as two drivers,  Charles Leclerc, and Lewis Hamilton faced disqualification at the 2023 US Grand Prix. 

The cause? Excessive plank wear on their cars. 

This unexpected turn of events raises critical questions about the meticulous scrutiny of Formula 1 regulations and the consequences that drivers and teams face when rules are breached. 

The disqualifications served as a stark reminder of the unforgiving nature of the sport’s governing body when it comes to adherence to the rules.

Also Read: Aston Martin’s Risky Move: Major F1 Upgrades at US GP Sprint Weekend

FIA’s Random Checks

In the world of Formula 1, the FIA’s random checks serve as a vital element of ensuring compliance with regulations. 

After every Grand Prix, the FIA conducts extensive checks, although practicality restricts checking every car. 

Instead, they select 4 cars for inspection, typically representing the top teams

However, in the wake of Hamilton and Leclerc’s recent disqualifications due to excessive plank wear, the adequacy of this selection process is now under scrutiny. 

The balance between practicality and thorough scrutiny raises questions about the effectiveness of these random checks.


In conclusion, the recent plank rule saga and the disqualifications of Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc have brought to light critical issues within Formula 1. 

The FIA’s random checks, while practical, have raised unanswered questions about their thoroughness and the need for potential improvements. 

The scrutiny of scrutineering practices is essential to maintain the integrity of the sport, ensuring that teams adhere to the rules while still pushing the boundaries of performance. 

As the Formula 1 landscape evolves, addressing these concerns becomes vital to maintaining fairness and competitiveness in this high-stakes world of racing.

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