Did running low on fuel give Lewis Hamilton pole position? No.

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

McLaren didn't put enough fuel in Hamilton's car in qualifying
McLaren didn't put enough fuel in Hamilton's car in qualifying

Several readers have asked in the comments whether Hamilton’s pole position for today’s Canadian Grand Prix was achieved solely because he had less fuel in his car than his rivals.

Having taken a look at the numbers it seems very unlikely.

Hamilton was instructed to stop his car on the track in order to ensure he had at least one kilo of fuel left in order to give a sample to the FIA for inspection. We can safely assume that the other nine cars which came into the pits at the end of Q3 were as close to that one kilo limit as they could get.

According to Williams, an F1 car burns 2.067kg of fuel on a lap of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Hamilton completed more than half of his lap back to the pits, so let’s say he was half a lap short of fuel – he should have had another kilo in the car.

How much time would that extra kilo have cost him? Williams tell us that fuel for 5km (2.37kg) increases a driver’s lap time by 0.06s. Hamilton’s missing kilo would have cost him 0.025 seconds.

Hamilton beat Webber to pole position by 0.268 seconds, so it doesn’t look like the missing fuel had much of an effect at all.

These figures assume the McLaren has identical fuel consumption to the Williams. It won’t do, though it will be very close.

To be on the safe side, let’s exaggerate the figures and see what happens:

What if McLaren’s fuel consumption was twice as high, their performance penalty for carrying extra fuel was twice as high, and Hamilton needed twice as much fuel in the car? He would have gained 0.103s – less than half his advantage over Webber.

Did running low on fuel give Lewis Hamilton pole position for today’s race? Based on these figures I think we can confidently answer that it did not.

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115 comments on “Did running low on fuel give Lewis Hamilton pole position? No.”

  1. phoenix_501
    13th June 2010, 12:39

    Question would have more relevant had they both had same tyre on.

    1. And the same engines with Williams

      1. Did you not read the article? Even doubling the fuel consumption rate, he still would have had a faster lap. And I doubt McLaren have a fuel tank twice as big as Williams on their car. Had the lap times been closer, the accuracy of the fuel consumption from different engines would be an issue, but the distance is drastic enough that it answers the question pretty definitively.

        If that isn’t relevant, then you probably had a hard time in science class.

        1. Keith, nice article, the figures are very very clear but… doesn’t matter!!

          The fact was that HAM could make an extra lap, forget about the fuel/weight advantage, if he didn’t run this extra lap the poleman should be WEB, not HAM.

          I’m sure many drivers should be able to do the same in past GP, but they didn’t, why?

  2. It was surely the tires that gave him the advantage but I think the situation will reverse during the race though

    1. Why do you say that? Hamilton seemed faster on both compounds. Redbull went for the hard seemingly because they realised they couldn’t beat him on the softs. An as the Redbull is harder on it’s tyres than the McLaren, which is stronger during the race than during qualifiying, an seems to deal with it’s tyres better I’d say McLaren still hold the advantage.

      Just because McLaren have sneaked a pole doesn’t mean the cars strong point isn’t still race pace. Redbull is also still a qualifiying machine.

  3. i think he was faster but i dont agree with bbc statement who blamed the temperature for the poor team qually

  4. Thanks for taking the time to write an article like this :) might quieten down some people who are saying Lewis only got pole by cheating with a very light car, although I doubt it haha.

    It’s all set up to be a great race today :-D can’t wait but it feels SO far away right now, not sure what to do with myself all day!

    1. Yes, nice one Keith. Glad you cleared it up for me in my own mind. Even allowing a large margin for error it clearly would have made no difference if Lewis had the extra bit of fuel he needed to get back to the pits.

      1. Some copyright issues here, keith.

        I posted a comment in the previous thread, telling just the same, and giving the mumbers also.

        My lawyers will meet you in the court, keith!!!! :-) :-)

        1. my point was that if mclaren was to be legal i.e have 1 kg of fuel they didn’t have the chance to do the final lap which would not have got him his pole.

          the initial idea was not to do the 1 extra lap. since lewis didn’t improve in the final stint he had to go for the extra lap. when they had to decide if they wanted to be legal or not with the fuel.

  5. The comments about Hamilton are just incredible. I’ve not seen a driver be polarized as much for a very long time. The Fia had to do something as by the rules he should have had enough fuel to get back to the pits. Ham took a gamble on another lap as he was sure he may have not got pole. Mclaren are fully aware of the rules and took a gamble themselves and pole with a $10k fine has to be seen as a good result. What state his tyres are in is a very different question. Overall it was a good descision by him and the team but how many more smacks on the wrist can he be given?

    1. “The Fia had to do something as by the rules he should have had enough fuel to get back to the pits.”

      actually there is no rule saying that, only a memo that was circulated sometime in the past.

      1. The memo was from the day before, June 11.

      2. That is correct. The only rule is that there must be enough fuel in the car for a sample to be taken to be tested.

        1. The cars have what is called ‘reasonable’ time to get back to parc ferme. He(or anyone else) could stop 50meters after the line to save tyres and fuel if not.
          If you said to any team $10k gets you pole and a finger waved at you by the FIA they would all have taken it.

          1. if that were true, every pole would be achieved this way.. and guess what, they haven’t been. and surely the key word there is getting back to parc ferme. Last I looked, that wasn’t out on the track?

  6. I dont think you covered the picture completely:
    Firstly each team is told to do a specific time in their in lap by the FIA, this is to prevent teams from slowing down to some random speed to conserve fuel and make it an advantage. Hamilton’s sector times in the in lap were 33s and 55s in the first two sectors. They were way off then the requirements so he probably didn’t burn 50 % of the fuel in the lap.

    But more interestingly Red Bull and Ferrari(maybe even Kubica) did their times on their 4th flying lap, Ferrari was on softs but Red Bull were on the harder compound. Comparing the times Ferrari seem to be really good at taking care of their tyres, this will be a huge advantage come the race.

    All in all McLaren might not be the fastest team just based on last evening’s qualification.

    1. I’ll say it again, McLarens strong point has consitently been race pace, it’s fairly ominous for the oposition that they’re starting to grab poles.

  7. i dont believe the fuel made a difference either, did anyone see fp3? nobody could beat hamiltons time on the hard tyres even with their soft tyres. hamilton was the only one to make a significant improvement on the options.

  8. Glad to see this cleared up. Although people still won’t believe it. Was a stunning lap :)

  9. After all the penalties Hamilton got in the previous years and even this year, I am enjoying the faces of Hamilton haters. :)

    People act like Hamilton has never been penalised.

    1. well he hasn’t this year, not really. A minor reprimand (aka slap on the wrist) doesn’t make a damn difference to anything, as he’s shown by getting 3 of them and not being bothered.

  10. The Nude Wizard
    13th June 2010, 12:55

    Simplistic defence of a “what if” scenario and missing the real crux of the issue.

    Is breaking the rules to have one more bite at the cherry against the spirit of competition when you know you don’t have enough fuel? Yes.

    They knew how much fuel he had before he started his lap and his tyres would improve with another lap and made their decision to push the limit of the rules, no team should be rewarded for it as it sets a bad precedence.

    1. Apart from the fact that they didn’t really break any rules.

      F1 is all about pushing the limit of the rules. Every team does it. As long as teams don’t break the rules then everything is fine.

    2. Part of the gain was due to Red Bull having to modify its car to satisfy the FIA scrutineers. That’s right – the suspension on the RB6 was borderline illegal and had been for three races. [http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2010/06/06/technical-review-turkish-grand-prix/]

      Sounds like the Red Bulls were pushing the limit of the rules to the point they had to modify it. Running three whole race weekends with a setup you become worried enough about you have to change it is a far greater crime than finishing a qualifying run marginal on fuel. They didn’t even get a fine for it and that’s a well defined rule.

      1. Best comment on the matter so far.

      2. Good point, but it’s been a fairly consistent FIA pattern of allowing design infringements or dubious modifications to go unpunished even after the team’s been forced to drop the modification over recent years. (Either that or rule rule them legal, aka. the Brawn diffuser and McLaren F-duct. Not arguing whether they were or not, just making the observation.) That being the case, I prefer more leniency with the drivers and the issuing of ‘reprimands,’ specifically where safety isn’t being directly compromised. Seems more generally consistent.

      3. chris markham
        14th June 2010, 10:52

        finally someone who will bring to light other teams shall we say ‘bending the rules’ and getting away with it, definately much worse than hamilton saving fuel in my opinion

  11. I never saw it as an unfair advantage. I looked at it like he probably had the same amount of fuel as the RB and Renaults but their engine is just more efficient. So I figured there was no advantage when it came to weight.

    Plus your right, the figures dont add up. There is no way there is a two tenths advantage for carrying half a laps less fuel, when you think about it, makes the people who were moaning sound quite stupid.

    1. Enough said, great result

  12. Keith, love the in depth reply to low fuel, thanks..

    looks set to be an interesting battle, with Red Bull being able to run longer before changing tires, but will a safety car defuse the extra distance they could gather?
    will more rubber on the track allow the softer tire a longer run?
    will those running softer tires pull in before the first safety car, lots of different strategies that could change the outcome..
    love Formula 1.

  13. not a hamilton hater
    13th June 2010, 13:06

    maybe it wasn’t only about that one kg of fuel being spared for the fia sample. cars + driver need to have a minimum weight at the end of the session right?

    btw hamilton’s last lap wasn’t at full speed right(before he stopped his engine) so he didn’t need the 2kg of fuel to complete it…

    1. refer to the last couple of paragraphs of the original article, unless the McLaren uses an inordinately inefficient amount of fuel in comparison to the rest of the grid, it still wouldn’t have made the difference.

    2. The fuel cannot be counted towards the minimum weight (as BAR found out a couple of years ago, result sitting out 2 races).

      If the total amount of fuel for a lap is about 2,1 kg for a fast lap (according to Williams and with an amount of reserve) and Hamilton drove at slow speed, he would still have used about 0,5 to 1,5 kg as he got to the start of the last straight. He still had at least the 1 kg of fuel.

      Even if he would have had had 2 kg less during his lap compared to Webber, it would have been a difference in time of about 0,05 seconds, compared to being 0,286 seconds faster then Webber.

  14. Younger Hamilton
    13th June 2010, 13:12

    Great Data Analysis Keith, That will show those Lewis Hamilton Haters that its Lewis’s Talent that got him on pole.

  15. Well I think the fact that he was in the end .25 of a sec faster suggests that he would have been faster anyways.

    but parking the car before reaching the pits cant be encouraged and in that sense i am a bit disappointed with the final decision.

    This is a fairly short circuit, imagine people parking their cars on a much longer circuit like Spa..there they might gain upto .2 of a sec by running out of gas…

  16. Osmar Cassãp
    13th June 2010, 13:17

    Every rule exists to disciplinate human acts. Hamilton shall not to try the last lap. Now every team can do the same, at the end of each Q1, Q2 and Q3. The Maclaren’s rule is stupid.

    1. Perhaps we should wait until Q3 in Valencia before jumping to that conclusion.

      1. Quite right. If you “did a Hamilton” at the end of Q2 I imagine that you wouldn’t be able to get the car back to your garage in time to stick more fuel in it, get fresh tyres and set a quali lap in Q3, so I don’t see this becoming a trend.

        At the end of the day McLaren took a risk and it paid off. In my mind there is no difference between this and the decision Jenson made to switch to slicks in Australia. Both were gutsy calls that paid off.

      2. Osmar Cassãp
        15th June 2010, 12:55

        I said they can, not they will.

    2. I suspect that there will be a clarification of the rules come Valencia, a bit like after Schumacher/Alonso/Rascasse and Spa 2008

  17. I’m not saying he got pole because of the short fuel situation but as you have confirmed, small as it may be, it did give him an advantage. You cannot say it doesn’t matter because it doesn’t change the result. It’s like saying HRT can run with flexi wings because they will still be at the back of the grid and would not change the result. Simple ruling would have been to delete the last lap time as this would have been the only one he was shorter than he should have been and would stop teams doing it in the future.

    1. Best post and explains my sentiments exactly. What bothers me is how light the rules are for Mclaren and not only this season rather than the particular incident itself. Especially the stuff with Petrov back in malaysia. This reprimand thing is really bad we need to see actual punishment at faults and I don’t mean ridiculous displays like Schumacher’s in monaco.

      1. Rules for McLaren being light for not only this season? That’s a laugh and a half…

    2. Actually, you can, because the “rule” broken was nowhere near as blatant and set as your hypothetical HRT scenario.

      The only reason for deleting a time is if the car was underweight, or the driver cut a corner, or something lke that. Hamilton broken none of these rules.

      What he did break was the “rule” about getting back to the pits in time. And that “rule” says nothing about why it was broken.

      As things are, Hamilton did nothing wrong to merit his time being deleted, or taking a grid penalty. If the FIA want to clear things up for the future, they can and perhaps should. But given that there are other, more important and more set rules that need clarifying that haven’t been, from that point of view why should they?

      McLaren made a mistake and were punished accordingly. If anyone tries it soon, that will be the difference – it would be intentional. I doubt we’ll be seeing a repeat for a long while yet.

      1. Yeah that’s a fair point. However he did gain an advantage (however small) so something needs to be done to prevent teams doing the same in the future. If someone does the same without the rules be clarrified/changed then can you imagine the carnage that will happen afterwards if they don’t get the same treatment as McLaren – how can you prove they didn’t do it by mistake and it was intentional?

        1. It would be hard, but take this into consideration: when was the last time this happened? If it happens again this year it’ll look very convenient.

          1. From comments by Martin Withmarsh i understand, the Stewards had a look into how far this was planned to have an advantage.

            He goes on saying, that anybody having a try next time will be hard put to explain themselves and proving it not to be planned, risking a hefty penalty.

    3. You cannot say it doesn’t matter because it doesn’t change the result.

      I didn’t say that.

      1. Yeah sorry, that wasn’t really aimed at you/your article, more the comments on here and elsewhere so was an in general ‘you’ if you get me!

  18. I’ve made a correction to one of the calculations above, but it’s made little difference to the final result. I had one of Williams’ figures written down wrong.

  19. Nice analysis CSI Keith. Case closed.

  20. I’m not really bugged by the fact he got pole, he was one of the fastest drivers on the track after all. On the other hand, it’s a bogus argument. “He was the fastest but needed only that one lap more to have a clean time.” That’s like saying that someone would’ve needed a 13th lap when laps were limited to 12 a pilot. There’s probably a lot of pilots that could blitz one sector, the trick is to get all three right for a pole-lap. If you make a mistake, well, that’s just your problem.

    I seriously don’t mind him being on pole, but if every team is going to keep on looking for that little extra by pulling off stuff like this, well we’ll be up for some sitcom humour in upcoming qualifications.

  21. For me I give the man Kudos. As much as it probably kept Bernie awake last night it was good to see something different to the otherwise “by the book” F1 package delivered to the public.

  22. Hi, it seems that many are unhappy with hamilton. Well, all i could say is that many are making v biased statements.

    i think no one would doubt this season, he is the brightest star of almost all races. Without him, i guess many would be boring. the only thing that let him down this year is his luck, other than that, i would say he drove brillantly.

    In bahrain, no doubt, mclaren not fast enough for bulls n ferrari.

    Malaysia- he’s let down by the teams weather radar, but still carved way up to the front much faster as compared to ALO, BUT,MAS. Though he weaved, i honestly felt that it was fine, as it is more of the breaking the tug as said, because he alr pass petrov n there was no way the renault can pass the mclaren on the straight given its famous f duct.

    China- weird team strategy, pitted 3/4 times yet finished second.
    Monaco- team is weak in slow sector, outqualified button.
    Australia- prob affected by the hooning incident, but nonetheless drove brilliantly only to be let down by mclaren’s additional pitstop.
    Spain- great racing thrghout weekend only to crash on penultimate lap not because of driver fault but by front wheel suspension failure.

    Turkish- proved himself as race winner.

    So, actually, who can doubt his maturity in driving this yr? He have driven so much better than as compared to his rookie season n even 08 at some extent. He,s still aggressive, but he knows how to make use of it to the best extent.

    finally, sry for the long post but i seriously cant stand hamilton haters here humming away about everything he does, whether right or wrong. This season till todays race, he has not did any fault and majority of the controversies( xcept hooning n weaving) r caused by the team rather than the driver.

    1. sorry but he didn’t prove himself as a race winner in Turkey, Vettel LOST the race for Red Bull, no way would Lewis have won it had the Red Bulls not collided.

      and as for your comment about Hamilton haters, welcome to the world of the Schumacher fan, he had everyone hating on him but I guess that was OK because it wasn’t Lewis huh? ;) Lewis could do the same as Schumacher did (and last time in Canada, he DID deliberately crash into a Ferrari) yet I don’t see people who hated on Schumacher for it hating on him. Funny that. ;)

      For the record, Lewis drove his best LAST YEAR when he didn’t have the best car, this year he has been simply dangerous, both on track and on the road, but people still kiss his a***.

      1. And why did the Red Bulls collide? Nothing to do with the pressure of the McLaren’s right up their rearwings all race?

        I don’t think anyone ever thought he deliberately crashed into Raikkonen, it was a completely stupid mistake that he got rightly penalised for, but there wasn’t much question of intent at the time.

        And Lewis has been dangerous this year? I can remember Vettel pushing him towards airhoses and mechanics in the pits, Vettel forcing him into Webber after a safety car restart and Vettel taking himself out of a race by crashing into his teammate.

        1. he shouldn’t have been alongside Vettel in the pitlane in the first place, and he was trying to race him down the pitlane, which last I looked, wasn’t allowed.

          1. Charlie Whiting has said he’s fine with racing in the pitlane as long as they don’t get too near the garages. Hamilton was only near the garage because Vettel pushed him that way.

    2. except…and except and except……everyone could be a superchampion, sorry…..

    3. Ng – “v biased opinions”….

      By the sounds of it I wouldn’t be suprised if you were to have a shrine to the man in your house. People do dislike him, I give you that, just that doesn’t justify your approach you’ve taken. Heck, I lot of people dislike him because of comments like yours. Read what you’ve posted. You’ve basically said the man has done no wrong this year. He has made errors and you can’t take that approach when hes been beaten by his teammate a few times this year, regardless of weather.

      Put it this way – on the 7th day Jesus rested, he didn’t create Lewis Hamilton.

      1. I find it hilarious how upset Hamilton-haters get when someone praises him to the hilt.

        1. Because praising him to the hilt really is quite annoying too any kind of bias irritaited when opinion is used in front of facts.. Personally I think Hamilton has been driving sensationally this year, thats only my opinion though, Malaysia being the thing that really annoyed me weaving wasn’t really on, I’d have given him a three place grid drop.

          You can add a third and a second to his points from mistakes the team made. An user:Tone is also being fairly biased but however good you think Hammys been, no doubt he makes mistakes, he is human for crying out loud.

          1. mistakes are fine, but anyone else would have been punished for them much harder than he’s been… just like Schumi in Monaco. That should have been a reversal of position, nothing more, and so should this.

        2. I find it hilarious how Schumacher haters get upset when he breathes in and out.

          Maybe if Hamilton had done something praiseworthy this year… like he did last year (not a total hater, just think he did his best driving last year and that he’s been massively overhyped by the media, including this site it seems)

      2. Hi, im not trying to be overly biased but i find the thread of the talk about hamilton’s qualifying lap is due to him ( the driver) trying to playing underhand methods/ or dishonest means (by qualifying an additional lap) unjustified. He did perfectly within the rules ( There’s still time for another lap), but we can probably only say, the team had fuel him lesser than they should, probably an honest mistake.

        But we should’nt discount the fact that Hamilton (or any other drivers) drove brilliantly to the lap. As for hamilton being beaten by button, the statistics now is

        HAM : BUT
        4 : 3 (-1 on both sides if we strictly consider mechanic failures of BUT in monaco, HAM in spain).

        We can’t really say its HAM being beaten just because BUT has won two races. The trend is still HAM being the better driver in dry/ wet conditions. It is BUT’s strategic thinking n clever decisions that allowed him to beat HAM. ( Pls note, im not biased, n is not discounting BUT’s effort, because thats a skill as well)

        But, on the overall, HAM is still the driver that is faster based on Raw speed n overtaking skills n etc. He needs to learn from BUT those driver-speared decision making skills. Raw skills and etc (such as being able to pressure the brakes at a higher force than any other drivers), are mainly given or trained from v. young.

  23. Well, every other car managed to get back to the pits AND have fuel to give a sample, so yes, he MUST have been lighter, and before that final lap he was 3rd. It’s marginal, but he was undoubtedly lighter than he would have been if he was able to get back to the pits at the mandated speed.

    I hope Red Bull or Ferrari get a pole the same way in a coming race, I will then wait for all the people who support Hamilton this time to slate anyone else who does it (I would be joining them, before anyone throws accusations that I wouldn’t my way).

    I think it’s reasonable to expect a car to be able to do it’s laps and then get back to the pits on the fuel (assuming no mechanical issues) and THEN give the required sample.

    This has also once again shown the general inconsistency of the Stewards this year. Lewis only ever gets reprimands that don’t affect the race result or even give him a penalty, yet others get time/grid penalties for breaking obscure rules… most unfair. It’s like they’re almost SCARED to punish Lewis like they should.

    1. The difference is, was it intentional? No doubt many will want to believe so, but isn’t that jus as convenient thinking as you;re inferring Hamilton fans are engaging in?

      If another team tries it, it will be blatant (even if McLaren did it on purpose, there’s no proof it wasn’t an unplanned error), and they will be punished, and rightly so, and that goes for if it’s McLaren again too. You can bet McLaren will now be having kittens at it happening again and the stewards coming down on them like a ton of bricks for it.

      1. well, they’ve already been light on Lewis this year every chance they got, and heavy on Schumacher… funny that.

        It’s an advantage taken, intentional or not. He shouldn’t have done that last lap if he didn’t have fuel to get back… I find it hard to believe he or the team wouldn’t know exactly how much fuel he had left, they seemed to know when they told him to stop the car ;)

        1. Whose been getting grid penalties for obscure rule breaking this year? Can’t remember that happening.

          An apparently it’s not marginal Hamilton had 2.5 tenths in hand, an the fuel penalty was barley a tenth, he’d have got the pole anyway.

          An no, your completley wrong, the reason they were heavy on Schumacher, IS BECAUSE THE RULES GAVE THEM NO CHOICE, you can’t just ignore what’s in the regs for sports sake, the way the stewards deliberated on it for so long you get the feeling thats what they would have liked to have done, got him off lightly. An then they clarified the rules and Mercedes AND Schumacher both acepeted it as fair.

          1. Thats right Scribe.

            Finally the Stewards are encouraged to make desicions not punishing having a try at racing or just downright biased or wrong.

            Even in monaco they did agree with the penalty for Schumi being overly hars, but the only other option, not giving a penalty would have harmed Alonso, that would have been even more unfair.

            The FIA should have a look at giving the Stewards more room for deciding on penalties that fit the crime here.
            But this is only possible if all involved can accept those stewards as deciding fairly, predictably and without bias, what they have started doing this year.

  24. I agree with the result of your analysis Keith, but he didn’t get more than half way round under power. He crossed the line and immediately eased off lowering fuel consumption, then killed power 24-28 seconds later less than a 1/3 of the way round – you can hear him cut the engine on iplayer. (He comes past one camera under power, by the time he reaches the next he’s switched off.) So for the 2nd time this year we saw how far you can get coasting an F1 car. But he’d still have been on pole.

    1. his car is still running at the hairpin onto the straight. wasnt until he started down the straight he turned it off. granted he was nowhere near full power

      1. Yeah, sorry, I totally brainstormed. I meant he puts it in neutral and idles downhill before the chicane, but doesn’t switch it off altogether till later as you say

  25. Why do people have such a problem with Hamilton haters?…..we really are a nice bunch of folk who are as passionate and knowledgeable about F1 as everyone else. There are loads of Alonso haters, there are even more Schumacher haters (and both groups have a plethora of reasons to ‘hate’ each one respectively) but no-one seems to mind when they spew their vitriol but as soon as us Hamilton ‘haters’ wish to chime in with our two cents, we get the negative vibe merchants trying to bring us down. It’s not fair….. :-(

    1. Exactly Tommy, exactly. Seems at least in the UK you’re not allowed to be an F1 fan and also dislike Hamilton and what he does.

    2. I guess it’s because the Hamilton ‘haters’ are a lot more vocal than others.

  26. I think they should start a new rule stating whoever can’t get back to the pits(No Fuel) after their quali lap will directly be classified as starting from tenth…. :)

  27. @ Tone, yeah mate. Though funnily enough I lived in the UK for about 4 years until a couple of months ago and most people I met, whether they were an F1 fans or not, disliked Hamilton. In fact, in all my worldly travels (which have been quite extensive – every continent except Antarctica) I think I met three or four Hamilton fans…the rest were haters….

    1. Really? This is very strange. Every driver has it’s “haters”, but I never saw many Germany fans dislike Schmacher, or Spanish fan dislike Alonso, are you people in the UK the most unbiased people in the world?

      1. From what foreign media I’ve seen, it’s only the UK media that relentlessly overhypes anything someone from said country does and elevates even a minor achievement to godlike levels while hating anyone from another country who happens to do well. Also there are bad winners here, people still go on about beating Germany in the 1966 World Cup as if it happened yesterday, while the germans don’t care about something that happened nearly 50 years ago ;)

      2. Not strange really, there is a culture in the UK to dislike successful people in sport even if they are from the UK. Man Utd in football for example.

        There is a fine line between pure skill, the mental attitude it takes to win and arrogance, which is generally why a lot of people in England are that keen on Hamiltion.

        1. *whoops missed the not keen out

  28. @ Katy: Agreed but one could presume that’s because they have a lot more fodder…

  29. Vettel stopped after crossing the line in 4th in Bahrain, OK he had a fault but could of made it back to the pits. Didn’t Ron Denis speculate that he didn’t have enough fuel to get back to the pits. Lets face it this kind of thing happens all the time.

    If you don’t take the rules to the limit (and occasionally over) you don’t win its the same in all sport, simple as that.

    Fair play to Mclaren, RBR (suspension), Mclaren and Merc (diffuser) for getting away stretching the rules.

    BTW lets remind ourselves they didn’t actually break and rules yesterday.. Fact.

  30. @ Ade. Yep, swear to God mate, most people (well I can only speak on behalf of the people whom I spoke to about Hamilton) think he’s a git. But, as you said, most Germans like Schumacher and Spaniards tend to like Alonso.

    Some of it is probably due to racism, the rest is probably due to the fact that Hamilton is a bit of a git, IMHO

  31. p.s. I’m not British

    1. As I posted above (5 up) its more of a culture thing.

  32. In my opinion, I don’t think they were expecting Lewis to cross the line before the end of the session. He crossed with less than a couple of seconds spare.

    So with only 4th position they decided to use the fuel reserved for the in lap for another flying lap. This wasn’t planned, however they could have elected to not run the lap.

    1. I completely agree with this point. I always thought a team can’t be unaware of sending their driver with lesser fuel for a qualifying lap and an in lap… if so, it should be some dump miscalculation far below their standards.

      If they were sending Hamilton knowingly with so little fuel, I thought they were under the assumption that Red-Bull is too close to even let go that 0.025 secs (as computed by Keith), which sounded a bit too much for me. I simply couldn’t accept they did that, but this is much more reasonable.

  33. Hey Keith, Can we get a list of who is running New Engines prior to each Race. I know Ferrari changed there’s for this Race, but not sure where all the other teams are at. Thanks

    1. If you go on f1wolf.com and click “2010 season” there are engine info and gearbox stats too. It’s really quite handy. It says what they used last racce, sometimes it doesn’t immediately say what’s going on that weekend but it helps to get a good picture over the season

      1. Is that your site (f1wolf.com) Steph???

  34. Keith did a good job here and the fanbois …..oh! Yess!! fanbois not fanboys have diverted the discussion to their selfish ends :-(

  35. Seconded.

    (Extra padding bit!… Your comment was a bit too short. Please go back and try again.)

    1. Sorry, no offence BBQ2, that was supposed to come after Tiomkin!

  36. Whole article just to tell Lewis didnt win pole because of the missing kg of fuel… man you must be bored or bias… the more a read the more i see it could be both

  37. So i just got a tweet from Keith that Webber has a 5 place grid penalty for changing his gearbox.

    Surely,

    Hamilton will be the WDC leader after Canada!!!

    Changes up the order a little too…

  38. Quite clearly, Hamilton would have been on pole regardless of the fact that he was a fraction short of fuel at the end of the race. Whether or not we want to see all the cars stopping out on track after qualifying is another matter.

  39. Florida Mike
    13th June 2010, 15:43

    I think the advantage that McLaren got was not because the car was lighter or the tires stickier, but because the track was quickly improving with every lap. If McLaren chose to use its mandatory reserve fuel for a last hot lap it (when the track was most favorable) then I think it’s fair for the FIA to penalize them. If I was a steward I might have voted to declare that last lap ineligable in addition to the fine imposed.

  40. Hi , mike, a really possible theory for what you said. But i guess the stewards took into account that BUT crossed the line shortly before hamilton & LIU or SUT crossed the line shortly after n prob decided that the difference isn’t that large to warrant a change in pole-sitter.

  41. since this sets precedent all teams should have a “free” ride (penalty wise cause it had a monetary cost) on running out of fuel this year. Yet I believe the rules should be change to ensure this does not happen again. Good job on the consumption report Keith, but even though I’m not a Hamilton fan I must admit that was a very “on th limit lap” and never did I think this fuel issue would have been a reason for his time.

  42. One thing I haven’t heard anywhere: did Hamilton actually have only one litre of fuel left in the tank? If he had more, it would dismiss the case against him more, but I haven’t seen anything anyhwere.

    1. Regarding your qn, actually, all teams will try to run as close as to the 1 kg limit for qualifying, as every kg counts. According to Martin Whitmarsh, Mclaren’s team principal, FIA was able to extract sufficient fuel for their testing ( so that actually means it have 1 kg), but hw much exactly is left in the tank is an unknown because such details are probably confidential for the team to know only;

    2. If he didn’t he wouldn’t have been able to give a sample and he’d have been penalised, so he must have done.

  43. Hamilton is an incredible driver and I respect his talent. However what he and his team McLaren did is wrong. Everyone talks about just how fast he is. He may be fast but that does not mean that he can do one ‘extra’ lap compared to other teams. Yes, having 1kg of fuel more in the car would not have made a big difference in the time sheets. But what if the Red Bulls or the Ferraris decided to the same? There is a huge possibility that one of these cars would have got the pole position. Why think about other teams? What if Jenson Button decided to do another lap? There is a fair amount of chance for him to get the pole as well. When you do something ‘extra’ compared to other competitors, you are spoiling the spirit of the competition. In my opinion, he should have got a more serious penalty that a ‘reprimand’. 10k fine will not make any difference for a team like Mclaren anyway.

  44. Jraybay-HamiltonMclarenfan
    13th June 2010, 18:13

    very good lap by hamilton…. *Last gas attempt* in the final seconds of q3 :D stunner. but he is on the not favored tires. he needs a safety car or rain maybe. Or maybe the tires will hold together better now that the track has rubber on it.

  45. Electrolite
    13th June 2010, 19:03

    Haha nice article title Keith. Owned.

  46. I’m just amazed that the FIA need anywhere near as much as a kilo of fuel to run a sample. 10g would be overkill – that’s like two teaspoons.

  47. Sorry if this has been posted before, but my understanding was this “rule” was introduced originally to avoid possible accidents with other cars.

  48. '92 & '93 Peugeot 905 Le Mans Winner
    15th December 2010, 14:32

    I think as a driver when you know there is nothing left of fuel in your car it gives you the confidence to give it some extra and push one ore two tenths extra

  49. If only this was brought up after today’s qualifying debacle.

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