Heikki Kovalainen gets five-place penalty

Heikki Kovalainen has been given a five-place grid penalty for delaying Mark Webber during qualifying, as was speculated here during the Live Blog.

Kovalainen held up Webber during Q2 although it did not prevent the Red Bull driver from reaching the final part of qualifying.

We are yet to see official confirmation on where Kovalainen will start. He originally qualified sixth, and would ordinarily be moved back to 11th. However as Lewis Hamilton has been relegated from third to 13th, Kovalainen will start tenth as penalties are applied in the order which they are announced.

It makes it the second time this season both McLaren drivers have received grid penalties in the same race. Lewis Hamilton already has a ten-place penalty following his pit lane crash in Canada, and both were penalised at Sepang for slowing other drivers in qualifying.

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20 comments on Heikki Kovalainen gets five-place penalty

  1. David Watkins said on 21st June 2008, 16:45

    Had a feeling that could happen. Why on earth was he going so slowly round the last three corners? Shocking communication again by McClaren

    Which of the Ferraris was it dawdling on the racing line so that Heidfeld had to move around it on the way down to the Adelaide hairpin?

  2. Dr H&S said on 21st June 2008, 17:29

    what was that Keith about his luck having to change soon? ;)

  3. steve thompson said on 21st June 2008, 17:48

    Ah…. here comes the pro Ferrari time of the season what do you think next McLaren banned in GB for being too silvery?

  4. Dr H&S said on 21st June 2008, 17:53

    I’d like to see the video again, wasn’t Kovi also behind another driver with nowhere to go?

  5. Robert McKay said on 21st June 2008, 18:06

    Ron Dennis says they changed the Q3 strategy for Heikki once they realised he would be penalised, and that’s why he’s heavy and thus slow…

  6. M Smith said on 21st June 2008, 18:12

    With this penalty, could Alonso or Trulli get onto the podium?

    And wasn’t Kovi stuck behind Nakajima? Shouldn’t he get the penalty, or at least both of them?

  7. TommyB said on 21st June 2008, 18:27

    Agreed Steve, nothing about that Ferrari slowing right on the racing line during Bourdais early lap was there?

  8. Cooperman said on 21st June 2008, 18:38

    This is a daft rule.

    I know that I was one of the first to say that there shouldn’t be the situation in qualifying whereby some drivers are on a fast lap at the same time as cars are returning to the pits to conserve fuel (creating a danger due to speed differences), but the resulting “keep within 120% of pole time” rule is only a token and doesn’t really solve the problem.

    Staying out of EVERY driver’s way coming up behind you is difficult enough in a Grand Prix – and then you can usually tell who is supposed to be at the front of the pack and therefore likely to be lapping you. That’s before you consider everything else going on during Q1, 2 and 3.
    There will always be traffic in qualifying. It’s part of a driver’s (and team’s) skill to get their car out onto a clear track. It’s not up to the authorities to penalise whenever they feel like it.

  9. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 21st June 2008, 18:45

    H&S – I’m starting to worry he might think I’m jinxing him and come after me…

    Robert – That’s interesting, they must have been pretty certain he was going to get penalised. Will have to keep an eye on when he pits tomorrow.

  10. michael counsell said on 21st June 2008, 19:20

    Are sure that both penalties aren’t applied equally? I’m sure theres been races where drivers have been pushed up a long way so that drivers with penalties are penalised correctly i.e 6th + 5 = 11th and 3 + 10 = 13th with only Vettel between the two Mclarens?

  11. He’s very lucky it’s only a 5 place penalty – repeat offences should be treated harsher.

  12. Michael, that certainly was the case in the past, but the rules say the penalties are applied in the order the offences are commited.

  13. Lady Snowcat said on 21st June 2008, 20:26

    Now with Lewis light and on the fast side of the grid and Heikki slow on the dirty side….

    I wonder….

    What would you do if you were Heikki and Lewis came up behind?….

  14. If I saw a fast approaching Lewis coming up behind, I would probably brace myself for impact… ;)

  15. Sassan said on 21st June 2008, 20:55

    Well thats just typical isn’t it pro – ferrari jibes within F1. Remember Nassir Hussein in 2002. I do recall though in the eighties balestre was pro Prost. it was only the drivers not the teams it was biased to. I think it is stupid that i did seem to see a ferrari floating around and Kovalainen was behind Nakajima so why wasn’t he penalised. Typical, its a Ferrari track so they would of had the edge anyway and now the stewards are adding insult to injury for Mclaren. I saw it coming in the back of my mind. mclaren should not go blameless though but i think it is going to far.

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