Hamilton gets reprimand but keeps pole

Posted on Author Keith Collantine

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.

2010 Canadian Grand Prix

Browse all 2010 Canadian Grand Prix articles

182 comments on “Hamilton gets reprimand but keeps pole”

  1. $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.

      1. 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?

      2. 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…

        1. 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.

      3. 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!

  2. 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)

  3. 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.

    1. 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…

    1. 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.

  4. 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.

      1. 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.

      2. 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.).

  5. 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).

  6. 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.

      1. 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.

  7. 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?!

    1. 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.

    2. 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.!!

    1. if people rant against schumi its being fair and if people point out the mistakes made by a brit people like you name then haters….LOOOOOOOOOL at your comment.

  8. It seems that some aren’t happy even when Hamilton is punished!

    If any other driver had done it, the result would have been the same. And Hamilton would have had pole anyway. Case closed.

  9. Hamilton’s lap was outstandning, but the rules seems to be changing with year, if not race. I’m not a Mclaren or a Hamilton fan but at the same time I thought Hamilton’s lap was outstanding. It’ll be interesting to see how much he has left in those tyres.

    But on the other hand, my mind goes back to last year where Massa had to stop on track at one race (albeit after the chequered flag) fearing he would not have enough fuel left in the tank for a sample. He didnt get punished himself, and I cant remember him getting a fine? It was some while ago though, and perhaps he did get one.

    Furthermore, this will be Hamiltion’s second reprimand of the season, albeit for a different offence. How many reprimands must a driver collect before having his knuckles stung with the cane? I think this point was raised both this website as well as the BBC.

    A brilliant qualifying session none-the-less. I look forward to watching the race on iplayer – I’ll miss the race as I’ll be working… unfortuantely!

    1. I think you’re referring to the 2009 Spanish Grand Prix.

      In the end the problem turned out to be incorrect data coming from the Ferrari, and Massa actually had enough fuel to finish!

      Whilst the FIA haven’t said anything, it does seem pretty clear that multiple reprimands will only be punished for the same offence committed multiple times, as well it should be; there are so many rules in F1!

  10. The team is fined for flouting the “memo.” It’s not a rule. Whitmarsh made the call to ensure that the car had enough for a sample.

    So what did Hamilton do wrong? Nothing. What was the effect on the outcome of qualifying of the team not putting in an extra liter? Nothing. Break out your calculators, it’s nothing. So let’s wrap up this particular Hamilton hate-session.

  11. So Sebastian Loeb lost a rally because his co-driver was not belted into the car for all of 5 meters during a stage after changing a tyre. this is total bs. One rule for one, one rule for another.

  12. Can someone tell Whitmarsh that 3 yellows on only 1 side of his garage is “systemic”. So the system is that you exploit every rule in F1 with even the slightest bit of marginality in it. That is what Hamilton’s side has been gaming. Yet Whitmarsh thinks he can tell other teams that once Lewis has done it he can bank it but noone else can follow.

    Anyone see the look on Button’s face as he saw Lewis pulled up?

    1. The system there being, now this case was on the table once, the next time anybody in the same situation will have to do a lot more explaining. And if they are found to give this scenario a serious thought, they will be punished.

      And Button said himself, he was pretty satisfied he got all there was from the car and was amazed at the fantastic lap Lewis did, not sad for being made to go slower.

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