Hamilton gets reprimand but keeps pole

Lewis Hamilton's Montreal pole position will stand

Lewis Hamilton's Montreal pole position will stand

Lewis Hamilton will keep his pole position for the Canadian Grand Prix despite stopping his car on his way back to the pits to avoid running too low on fuel.

The FIA have issued a $10,000 fine for exceeding the maximum time allowed to return to the pits and given Hamilton an official reprimand.

The stewards’ statement read:

The team instructed the driver to stop on the circuit causing him to exceed the maximum time as defined in Document 15 – Race Directors’ Not to Teams of 11 June 2010, 19:06

Offence: Breach of article 15.1 of the 2010 FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations
Penalty: Reprimand and a fine of $10,000

Article 15.1 of the Sporting Regulations simply says:

The stewards or race director may give instructions to competitors by means of special circulars in accordance with the Code. These circulars will be distributed to all competitors who must acknowledge receipt.

The radio message McLaren gave Hamilton told him to stop in order to avoid having too little fuel in order to give a sample after qualifying. This is required under article 6.6.2 of the Technical Regulations:

Competitors must ensure that a one litre sample of fuel may be taken from the car at any time during the Event.

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182 comments on Hamilton gets reprimand but keeps pole

  1. matt90 said on 12th June 2010, 22:21

    Two great pictures on the last two articles. I’m looking forward to seeing more quali pics.

  2. Ade said on 12th June 2010, 22:22

    Lewis stopped his car to avoid running out of fuel? Is taht true? I thought he stopped to save the amount of fuel needed for the FIA sample?

  3. Rachel (@vettelfan) said on 12th June 2010, 22:39

    Glad to see he didn’t have pole taken away from him. He put in a great lap. I’m sure all the teams run close to the limit on fuel (how many times do we hear about them having to save fuel in races?!) so McLaren didn’t do anything wrong. Admittedly they should’ve been able to get Lewis back to the pits, but they had a chance to do an extra lap so they took it. Would’ve been a bit foolish of them to tell Lewis not to go for pole just so he could get back to the pits.

  4. Hey, there’s no specific rule in FIA books to be broken:

    It seems that the fact that the requirement to return to the garage in a minimum time is enshrined in an FIA memo, rather than the sporting regs, left a loophole for McLaren to exploit.


    • Jhonnie Siggie said on 12th June 2010, 22:46

      And F1 is all about pushing limits right? Just like the f-duct and Red Bull’s trick suspension. It will be unfortunate though if we see a bunch of cars do it in the next quali

  5. Jhonnie Siggie said on 12th June 2010, 22:44

    A $10,000 fine is well worth the coverage that the pole sitting car gets. In their general ledger, I think they will put the 10K as “advertising expense” rather that “fines and other sundry items” :)

  6. Paul A said on 12th June 2010, 22:51

    $10 grand is dirt cheap for a pole (and it’s tax deductible as a business expense.) How many more drivers or teams are we going to see pulling similar stunts? Also, the Sporting Regulations only mention “fines” for pit lane speeding – all other penalties are drive-throughs or grid penalties.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 12th June 2010, 23:36

      How many more drivers or teams are we going to see pulling similar stunts?

      Probably none now that someone’s done it once and got caught.

      • Paul A said on 13th June 2010, 0:36

        You’re absolutely right … so … if you’re the first one to pull a “nifty trick”, $10k. Next time, five places on the grid. Is that fair?

      • RFB said on 13th June 2010, 1:02

        Quite the contrary. The FIA has set a precedent, you can do it, it simply costs you $10,000 and a reprimand. It’s Hamilton’s second reprimand in 6 races with no further action, so it seems reprimands lead to nothing either anyway…

        • David A said on 13th June 2010, 3:39

          It’s because he’s comitted different offences. If he does this again, or weaves/has an unsafe pit release again, he’ll be punished further. Because he has had reprimands for those.

      • not a hamilton hater said on 13th June 2010, 12:54

        im not his fan, but this move is just as smart as the f-duct is. he got the pole because his car was just that little bit lighter so he could make the difference.it would have been fair if he had driven his car to the pits and confront the consequences afterwards. i think next race redbull will stop their car right at the end of their flying lap if they can get away with it just with a reprimand(and some change).

        on the other hand it was lovely for all the F1 fans to see lewis push his car and being so happy!

  7. SoLiD said on 12th June 2010, 22:55

    Another great solution by the stewards.
    They been doing a great job this year.
    No foolish punishment that would change things for no reason (spa 08 to name one example)

  8. zaxxon said on 12th June 2010, 23:00

    For doing his last lap Hamilton accepts he wasn’t going to reach the boxes by the time limit. This first possition is not legal, because for that extra-lap time it was necessary to break the rules. Everybody honored the rules but Hamilton, and he took advantage from it.

    • Ace said on 13th June 2010, 6:35

      My thoughts exactly. McLaren would’ve known the fuel situation but chose to go for another lap anyway, benefiting from that decision.

      Even though I believe the $10k fine is a toothless punishment, I do feel that any of the standard punishments (5 place grid penalty etc) would’ve been too harsh. Tough call for the stewards…

  9. mvi said on 12th June 2010, 23:16

    McLaren is certainly getting off easy this year. Even unfavourable rulings end up favourable.

    • Bout time really. Weird that, when the English President of the FIA was in charge the Italian team got all the fun.

      Now there’s a French former leader of Ferrari in charge, the British team seems to have been given licence to stretch the limits.

  10. Mike "the bike" Schumacher said on 12th June 2010, 23:27

    Nice for Hamilton to have his own Alesi moment.

    I think I remember, that some team I think it was B.A.R. had some kind of system which ensured that there was always at least enough fuel left to take a sample why don’t Mclaren have such a system.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 12th June 2010, 23:37

      Probably because when BAR were caught with that system they got banned for two races!

      • bosyber said on 12th June 2010, 23:48

        Or, if someone has it, they have so far been careful enough not to have been caught at it, of course. But I am not cynical to think that, I think.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 13th June 2010, 15:47

        Nice take on that (although BAR were punished because they reasoned that if there has to be a minimum 1 Kg of weight in the fuel system at all time for inspection, it also counts towards the empty weight of 650 kg.).

  11. Enigma (@enigma) said on 12th June 2010, 23:33

    Has anyone else noticed how Hamilton is always on the limit of the rules and is punished differently every season? In 2007 (like 2010) he wasn’t punished for anything, in 2008 he was punished for everything (and managed to be the wdc anyways).

  12. Soeren said on 12th June 2010, 23:41

    It’s not that easy to believe Martin Whitmarsh. He tells us that they had a “miscommunication”.

    Apparently they were then able to discover that miscommunication pretty quickly, within a few minutes while Lewis was doing his run.

    And just by accident, the result of that miscommunication wasn’t two laps less fuel than needed, or one or two too many. No, it was just the right amount to boost Lewis’ time just enough to make sure he was able to grab pole.

    McLaren’s first pole of the year at that.

    And also just by accident, this happened on Lewis’ last run in Q3, when the track is gaining with every minute of running.

    Also, it happened to happen on the one track of the whole season which was more “green” on Friday than every other track, and which also turned out to be even greener than expected, so also in this respect it happened at the track where this tiny miscommunication amounted to the biggest possible gain.

    And from now on, no one else will be able to use this trick innocently. Seems McLaren told the guys in their think-tank to come up with tricks or improvements which are hard to copy by the other teams, just as the F-Duct.

    And! Within these few minutes between sending Lewis out, “discovering” their “error” and radioing their decision to Lewis, they were able to figure out that they had to weigh up something from the regulations against something which just got passed around as an FIA memo some time ago.

    • S Hughes said on 12th June 2010, 23:58

      And I thought I was the master conspiracy theorist. I hand the mantle on to you.

      • Soeren said on 13th June 2010, 0:38

        I regard myself as pretty suspicious as soon as someone utters a “conspiracy theory”. It merely strikes me as odd that an incident which was in many ways perfectly inclined and perfectly timed to help McLaren’s cause gets declared as being just the accidental by-product of an “error”. They’re super-lucky these guys aren’t they? REALLY .. come on, they’re way too smart and professional as an organisation to be that clumsy AND lucky like this at the same time.

    • mvi said on 13th June 2010, 0:00

      According to itv-f1.com, the memo was issued yesterday, June 11. Rather cheeky of McLaren!

    • Tiomkin said on 13th June 2010, 11:22

      Ever watch the X-Files?

  13. MouseNightshirt said on 13th June 2010, 0:07

    But seriously guys, wasn’t it just worth it to see Hamilton sitting on his car as it rolled down the straight, for him to hop off and start pushing it?!

    • varun said on 13th June 2010, 0:16

      worth if it was within the rules. I want to see massa alonso also. will they be able to do that? then people would remember the ferrari bias. which is kind of stupid.

    • Glenn (@glenn) said on 13th June 2010, 0:47

      It sure Was!! Watching Hamilton “surf” his car down the back straight and then get out and push his car will forever be in grained in my mind of Hamilton and his massive performance on Saturday Qualifying of the Montreal 2010 GP.

      Surely his even running that 3rd lap on the Super softs was a feat that is surely being overlooked. He beat the Red bulls in the sector (1) where they where supposed to be on their game. 0.2 !! That is massive from Hamilton.

      Speaking of him Surfing his car, has anyone found a picture of that?? Surely I am going to blow that up and put it in my Living room.!!

    • S Hughes said on 13th June 2010, 12:41

      Look at the video: LEGEND!!!


  14. sato113 (@sato113) said on 13th June 2010, 1:02

    to be fair he was half way down the back straight anyway. so pretty close to the end of his in-lap.

  15. manatcna (@manatcna) said on 13th June 2010, 1:07

    Hamilton haters – Doncha just love ‘em?

    He got pole – get over it

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