Hamilton gets five-place grid penalty

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Suzuka, 2010

Lewis Hamilton will take a five-place gird penalty at Suzuka, once the starting order for the race has been decided.

Hamilton will have to change his gearbox before tomorrow’s delayed qualifying session, resulting in the penalty, meaning he will definitely start no higher than sixth.

Drivers are allowed to change their gearboxes every four races without a penalty. Hamilton last changed his gearbox at Spa.

McLaren are still deciding whether or not to run their new rear wing tomorrow.

Update: More from McLaren:

In P3 today, we noticed abnormal gearbox oil pressure on Lewis?s car, which we believed we had corrected ahead of this afternoon?s qualifying session.

This afternoon, as we fired up Lewis?s car several times in preparation for qualifying, we became aware that the symptoms were worse than we?d originally diagnosed, and a decision was later taken to change the gearbox ahead of tomorrow?s qualifying session and the grand prix.

As a result, Lewis will receive a five-place grid penalty for tomorrow?s race.

2010 Japanese Grand Prix

Browse all 2010 Japanese Grand Prix articles

Image ?? www.mclaren.com

Advert | Go Ad-free

121 comments on Hamilton gets five-place grid penalty

  1. karan01 (@karan01) said on 9th October 2010, 12:40

    Bloody hell, could this be the first step in a downward spiral of losing the championship…

  2. So if qalifying happens, he may best start P6 and if it doesnt, the best wud be 7th.
    I think he wud want to start 7th than 6th.

    • Ilanin said on 9th October 2010, 15:22

      If it doesn’t, Button has a fantastic advantage, starting on pole with the two Mercedes between him and all the other championship contenders.

      • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 9th October 2010, 17:55

        Yeah, that would really be a boon for Button. If that were to happen I think we could see a Button Vettel Hamilton podium, which would really help even out the championship again.

      • Christian said on 9th October 2010, 20:29

        I think the red bulls would catch up any McLaren driver though, even with a little traffic. The McLaren isn’t fast enough and over the course of a Grand Prix the Red Bull drivers will easily bridge that gap.

        I honestly believe we only have three drivers in contention for the championship now, and both the McLaren boys aren’t in it.

        Which is a shame. I hope they turn it around (as a Brit myself) but I’d be very surprised.

    • Younger Hamilton said on 9th October 2010, 17:25

      lol now i get you 7 the lucky number that will destroy every bad luck that is planned toc urse Lewis

      • He’ll probably start 9th at best. The RBRs and Alonso ahead. With so little running he will do very well to start in the top ten.

        BTW, has anyone every qualified on pole and received a grid drop, I can’t remember anyone doing that?

        • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 9th October 2010, 17:59

          It almost happened to Hamilton at Montreal this year after the low fuel controversy. He’ll be hard pressed to take pole here though with such minimal running, and a different rear wing.

        • David-A (@david-a) said on 9th October 2010, 22:11

          BTW, has anyone every qualified on pole and received a grid drop, I can’t remember anyone doing that?

          I think Raikkonen at the 2005 Italian Grand Prix.

  3. sam crawford said on 9th October 2010, 13:34

    Anyone think the whole ‘we start in number order’ thing is a bit silly? I think if they’re going to be diplomatic and try to be fair about it, the they should start in reverse championship order, or draw numbers out of a hat! Starting in number order means you’re being rewarded for the 2009 season, and for someone like Schumacher who wasn’t hear last year, he will get to be in third, all because of Button and Rubens, and Rubens himself will be way down

    • I agree. Free Practice results or current WDC order would be much more fair. Not to even mention how Schumacher moaned about getting an odd number due to superstition (much good it helped him).

      • Red Andy (@red-andy) said on 9th October 2010, 14:47

        Or even the finishing order of the last race. That’s how they used to decide the running order in qualifying when we had that silly single-lap system, so there is precedent….

      • Maksutov said on 9th October 2010, 14:52

        “Schumacher moaned about getting an odd number due to superstition”

        That I think has to be the most embarrassing thing Schumacher has ever done.

        • I respectfully disagree with that statement. Deliberately crashing into a championship rival when you made an error which would probably take you out of the race takes the cake.

      • Adrian said on 9th October 2010, 16:49

        Free Practise times would seem to make the most sense to me…

        …which is probably why it’s not in the FiA regulations!!

        • Are you aware the cars are not always race legal in a Friday practice? Plus they may be underweight for various reasons. These aren’t punishable by the rules.

      • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 9th October 2010, 18:02

        Does anyone think Schumacher may have been aware of this obscure rule (he was always noted for his understanding of the regulations and how to bend the rules), and asked for an odd number so he’d start on the clean side of the grid if the rule were ever enacted? Maybe it’s just the conspiracy theorist in me, but stranger things have happened.

    • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 9th October 2010, 20:59

      Reverse championship order would be bloody awesome, but probably the least likely solution.

  4. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 9th October 2010, 15:10

    His crash may have played a part & I also think the time he took to come out in FP2 was he was trying to correct the problem, but the most important thing is that he is already starting this weekend on the back foot.I hope he don’t take this pressure & makes more mistakes.

    • Adrian said on 9th October 2010, 16:50

      How many times though have we seen drivers suffer and end up on the back foot only to come through and have one of their best races!!

      Button in Brazil last year springs to mind.

  5. Pingguest said on 9th October 2010, 16:16

    What a great piece of legislation. If a driver goes off on Friday it may well result in a penalty for the race, due to repairing.

  6. Younger Hamilton said on 9th October 2010, 17:13

    We’re going to need a Miracle now i cant take much of this suffering anymore

  7. How ironic!

    People were talking about Ferrari getting a grid drop due using too many engines and then Hamilton gets one for a gearbox change.

    You can almost see it coming, ‘no grid drops for RBR or Ferrari before the end of the session’.

    Maybe it was, maybe is wasn’t due to the crash but either way its another mechanical issue for Mclaren, not a good record is it?

  8. Hitman said on 9th October 2010, 17:45

    the end for Hamilton’s WDC hopes, mcalren and hamilton have never been the quickest car this season and in their quest to win they have pushed far too much. the best he will qualify is around 8th now with the grid penalty, sadly can see another DNF for him again, hope i’m proved wrong and he heads the field come the chequred flag…

    • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 9th October 2010, 18:04

      mcalren and hamilton have never been the quickest car this season

      Canada? Spa? Turkey? Arguably Monza though we never got to see Hamilton’s race pace there.

      • Anthony said on 9th October 2010, 19:37

        In canada alonso was faster but got caught up by the backmarkers, in turkey the redbull were faster but crashed and in monza alonso was clearly faster than button.

  9. Larcem said on 9th October 2010, 17:58

    there are still 3 races after tomorrow, and even so, who knows what will happen in Suzuka!

  10. Hamilton doesn’t like to drive under so much pressure (penalty, championship standing). First section is rough so maybe we will se some great fight between championship contenders tomorrow. Whatever happens, I’m still rooting for Button. His soft driving style might be good on this track. Others should have problems with maintaining tires in good condition. He might make few more laps at top speed with other struggling with graining.

    • You say:
      Button. His soft driving style might be good on this track. Others should have problems with maintaining tires in good condition. He might make few more laps at top speed with other struggling with graining.

      I add, Alonso too ;-)

    • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 9th October 2010, 21:34

      I don’t know if you’ll see this, but I love Pooch Café (your avatar)!

      I agree about Button. If they have a free choice of tyre for the race (say if it rains a little in Q3 but then stops) then he might go for something different and win that way.

  11. sabatino said on 9th October 2010, 18:02

    In the case that tomorrow qualy won’t make and starting grid will be write on number orders Halmiton ‘ll start from sixth position ?

  12. Gusto said on 9th October 2010, 18:04

    Staying up till 3am has lost some of its appeal.
    Keith, how about an article for Super Sunday, F1, MotoGP an a full race program from Brands Hatch on ITV4 its Petrol Head Heaven.

  13. Oh my God!!! Hamilton just can’t get a break these days! *sigh* I think all I can hope for now at this point is that he doesn’t crash again and he can finish ahead of Button on points this year.

  14. oops, more reasons to put himself under more pressure and over cook his chances again like the past two races. That is the price you pay for not appreciating what you have now, because you will always be chasing something that don’t belong to you until you get slapped!

  15. Mr. Zing Zang said on 9th October 2010, 20:09

    If it rains in the Race Hamilton will win. He has no fear and nothing to loose he can attack with full aggression. My only worry is other people crashing into him.

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments must abide by the comment policy. Comments may be moderated.
Want to post off-topic? Head to the forum.
See the FAQ for more information.