Kobayashi and Perez disqualified from results

2011 Australian Grand Prix

Sergio Perez, Sauber, Melbourne, 2011

Sergio Perez, Sauber, Melbourne, 2011

Both Saubers have been disqualified from the Australian Grand Prix due to a technical infringement.

Sergio Perez and Kamui Kobayashi therefore lose their seventh and eighth place finished in the race.

Their upper rear wing element was found not to conform to the regulations.

The change promotes Felipe Massa to seventh and Sebastien Buemi to eighth.

It also means both Force India drivers have moved up into the points, with Adrian Sutil taking nine and Paul di Resta scoring the final point on his debut.

See the revised results in full:

Update: Sauber have announced they will appeal the decision.

James Key said: “This is a very surprising and disappointing result.

“It appears that there is a question over the top surface of the uppermost rear wing element, this area is not the working surface of the component and therefore relatively unimportant to its function.

“Certainly this has not lead to any performance advantage. We are checking the design of the parts now to better understand the situation and we intend to appeal the decision made by the stewards.”

The FIA found them in breach of articles 3.10.1 and 3.10.2 of the technical regulations.

2011 Australian Grand Prix


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202 comments on Kobayashi and Perez disqualified from results

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  1. disjunto (@disjunto) said on 27th March 2011, 11:58

    Didn’t see that coming…

    • Devastating.

    • Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 27th March 2011, 12:37

      This news has really upset me. I was having such a good day as well.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 27th March 2011, 13:40

        Exaclty. What on earth is this about?

        Can we ask the question, of who asked the stewards to look at those wings? Would it be wrong to suspect this came from FI or Ferrari who were the ones profiting from it directly?

        First race, first evening results change and first appeal. And we were wondering what the next political theme would come to be.
        Very sad indeed.

        • Scribe (@scribe) said on 27th March 2011, 14:01

          It’s not excatly political. It’s gutting but a simple faliure of a team to comply with the regulations, especially on a vital aero part like the rear wing, can’t go without reprimand. Hopefully Sauber fix it and move on, but however miniscule the infraction is, little things gain tenths in F1, an tenths are massive in a midfeild as tight as this one looks.

          • bosyber said on 27th March 2011, 14:43

            Yes, that is true I suppose, but is still really bad. I wonder if those two ridges you see on the photo with the article stick out to high or something.

            Suppose that that means Massa does salvage a reasonable result from a not so great race, good for FI, but Sauber was doing so well, sigh.

          • Any team could have asked for it to be checked the problem is that Sauber broke the rules not if anyone tried to get them caught. Ferrari aren’t the only ones who would sell their granny, parents and second cousin for a few extra points either.

          • Gambit said on 27th March 2011, 20:43

            This is total BS!!! The FIA is full of crap! >:-[

        • Ben Curly said on 27th March 2011, 14:52

          And more importantly why the hell nobody checked that before the race? Or before qualifying for that matter?

          The cars were held in parc fermĂ©, correct? Rear wing isn’t exactly a hidden element of the car. If the FIA allowed them to race with it, they should just as damn well keep their scores.

          It was not their fault that FIA screwed up, and they weren’t hiding anything. I hate changing the results post factum. This is ridiculous. I hope the next Jean Todt approval poll will reflect that!

          PS. I suspect that Ferrari asked the stewards to do it. After all it’s four more points for Massa. I can’t think af any other team that would do that to be honest.

          • Ben Curly said on 27th March 2011, 14:53

            * they should just as well allow then to keep their scores.

            Damn I’m angry about this thing.

          • Cacarella (@cacarella) said on 27th March 2011, 15:15

            Seriously, Ferrari is going to get blamed for this too? I love how some people complain about politics in F1, claim to be true racing fans, and then turn F1 into a daytime soap opera.

          • Ben Curly said on 27th March 2011, 15:29

            It’s only my suspicion. I’m not saying they did it, but I wouldn’t be surprised.

          • Cacarella said on 27th March 2011, 16:16

            ah, so you suspect that the mechanics at Sauber who have access to the measuring devices (which I understand is a ball template that is held against the curve of the wing) didn’t see a problem with the wing, but somehow, the Ferrari mechanics were able to VISIBLY see a slight difference in this measurement and then brought it up to the FIA so that they could examine it? or perhaps Ferrari mechanics caused a diversion while a lone mechanic ran to the back of the Sauber, held the measuring template to the wing and once they’re suspicions were confirmed they started screaming in a language that was a cross between Italian and evil demonic chants that the wing was Illegal!

          • Ben Curly said on 27th March 2011, 16:29

            Sure. That is precisely what I said in my comment. I mean, it must be, because clearly you wouldn’t try to put words in my mouth :/

          • Cacarella said on 27th March 2011, 16:38

            I suspect that Ferrari asked the stewards to do it.

            In order to suspect this, you’d have to have formulated some type of hypothesis as to how Ferrari would have known that the wing was illegal and therefore notified the stewards no?

            Also, there was a question mark in the middle of my post, which would suggest that I was asking if this is how you had come to your suspicion, hoping that you might offer up an explanation.

            Unless of course you suspect it simply because you had no legitimate explanation for Saubers’ miss step, so you just blamed it on Ferrari?

            These however, are just my suspicions.

          • Ben Curly said on 27th March 2011, 17:14

            For the record, after reading other articles I think it’s unlikely that Ferrari spotted the infringement of Sauber and ratted them out.

            However, when I wrote my original comments the exact nature of the violation wasn’t known. Quite a lot was suggesting that it was possible to spot it with a naked eye, with no fancy measuring ball required.

            It wasn’t hard to see who benefited from this situation. Among them was a team with a certain track record. Let’s say, not quite the paragon of morality and a pretty obvious suspect. But you acted as if I wasn’t only suspecting them. You jumped on me as if I declared them guilty. In fact you procured quite a tirade attacking me and strawmanning my opinion. How very reasonable.

          • Cacarella said on 27th March 2011, 17:33

            I’m sorry if it seemed like a personal attack.
            I get very aggravated when a website that I adore so much, and usually has very objective contributors suddenly turns into a playground for fanboys (I’m in no way suggesting that you are a fanboy). The last few articles have produced a slurry of comments about how Ferrari have somehow masterminded all the misfortune that any team had suffered during the race weekend.

            I decided to call you out.

            If I had suggested that Mclaren had asked the stewards to do it, based on their history of stealing other teams data, and that with Sauber data, they would be the only team to have known of the wings dimensions, I would have been attacked by many more people than just one.

            I do my best to try to ignore comments that make me passionate about the team I favor as It makes me no better than the OP. I’m just disappointed by the contributions today.

          • Ben Curly said on 27th March 2011, 17:57

            Well, in my initial comment I was quite passionate too. The verdict still angers me, especially if it really isn’t a performance enhancing violation.

            True, I was suspecting that Ferrari tipped the stewards off, but I wasn’t blaming them. Part of your disappointment may come from the fact that you read too much from into some comments. To be honest, reading some of your remarks one could also see a fanboy. And I’m not accusing you of being a fanboy either, rather pointing to the imperfection of language.

            I hope we’re cool. Cheers.

          • Cacarella said on 27th March 2011, 18:26

            very cool – cheers

          • TommyB (@tommyb89) said on 27th March 2011, 18:36

            Surely if there are no checks before the race HRT could just make there car fully illegal, win the race and then get DSQed.

            It’s better than not Qualifying at all.

          • SeattleChris (@seattlechris) said on 27th March 2011, 18:53

            Completely agree that the FIA have a duty to notice something as visible as the rear wing on a car before the race.

            More importantly, fans are gutted about this ruling and this sport doesn’t exist without us.

            Ferrari this… Ferrari that. See how long you can go without mentioning people, things, teams that you hate! You’ll probably be happier in the long run.

          • Baron said on 28th March 2011, 7:14

            Has anyone considered that the wing ‘may’ have been changed between scrutineering and the race? Would be a simple matter to change in the garage and perhaps was only picked up during a post race spot check? As I understand it, scrutineers have all sorts of templates they pass over critical areas to check rule conformity. I am not suggesting a deliberate ‘cheat’ exactly, but it could explain FIA decision.

    • F1iLike said on 27th March 2011, 13:59

      Yeah shouldn’t this be the thing they do in parc ferme? A 5 place grid penalty pre-race and fix it should suffice. This is odd!

      • infy (@infy) said on 27th March 2011, 14:12

        I noticed the wing during the race and was wondering if it was allowed.

        The gap between the upper and lower section is much larger than all the other teams. It looked as if they had their DRW deployed all the time.

        • bosyber said on 27th March 2011, 14:44

          But that normally just means they have the wing not working as efficiently in the normal setting, doesn’t it? In other words, they would have less drag, but also a lot less downforce. Not sure what’s illegal about that choice really, so maybe I misunderstand what you mean. Pity I just deleted the recording of the race I did.

      • Spaulding (@spaulding) said on 27th March 2011, 21:47

        Seriously? So you would recommend letting their qualifying time stand, even though their car was in direct violation of the rules? This isn’t amateur, let everyone have fun racing, this is F1, a big business where a very few make money and a very large number lose money all because someone does or doesn’t figure our how to run a car with an extra 1 cm of flex in their wing. If you can’t supply a car that is in compliance to the rules, you are cheating, whether you knew it at the time or not. As regards to everyone that thinks the stewards should have caught it earlier, other than a couple weight checks and known or suspected common rules violations (flex wings, etc.), the marshals don’t have time to check ALL of the cars that qualify as the only thing that REALLY matters is those that score points and MAYBE the next couple that don’t. All the others didn’t run well enough to pay attention to.

  2. Electrolite said on 27th March 2011, 11:58

    Whattt?

    “A dream start I will remember forever”

    Taken away from a bunch of greying men with clipboards. Sorry to rant, rules are rules, but…ARGH!

  3. TommyB (@tommyb89) said on 27th March 2011, 11:59

    Gutted. Perez looked like a happy little kid on the BBC F1 forum. Really shame for this to have happened.

    • Todfod (@todfod) said on 27th March 2011, 13:27

      Agree. Its quite a strong debut performance from Perez, and its a BS decision if there was no performance gained from their rear wing. Anyways, hope to see more from these two exciting drivers

      • RIISE (@riise) said on 27th March 2011, 15:09

        As much as I don’t like to see this sort of thing happen especially to Perez rules are rules. Although I think the punishment is a little harsh.

        • Jonathan said on 27th March 2011, 17:39

          Rules are rules… I guess that’s why Alonso and Massa were disqualified in Germany last year.

          • RIISE (@riise) said on 27th March 2011, 18:36

            Here we go….completely different situation in which made the FIA realise the ruling is stupid and un-enforceable.

            Unlike this situation where the car was clearly illegal.

          • Todfod (@todfod) said on 27th March 2011, 21:59

            I dont think you know the rules well enough to say that it was clearly illegal. If James Key says that there was absolutely no performance gain or advantage, then disqualifying them is just a crime.

          • RIISE (@riise) said on 27th March 2011, 22:20

            Whether or not there was a performance advantage is not the issue. The car has to be within a certain set of guidelines and if not they get disqualified. Sorry but it’s you who doesn’t know the rules well enough.

            Leniency can be made with on track incidents but when it comes to the structure of the car what can the FIA do? All teams have ti comply by the rules no matter how minuscule the margin may be.

        • Adam Tate (@adam-tate) said on 27th March 2011, 23:06

          Very harsh I’d say, I was so thrilled for Sauber, epsecially for Perez, they should have gotten a warning, as this is both cruel and overbearing.

      • kowalsky said on 27th March 2011, 15:44

        and if he keeps going like this, with the amount of backing he has, that can be added to santander at ferrari without conflict. Maybe we have massa’s succesor in front of us.

        • Solo (@solo) said on 27th March 2011, 17:28

          FIA incompetence in it’s full glory. You are suppose to check this staff before the race starts you idiots.
          How about checking them when you have them in park ferme instead of going out for a beer?

          Actually they should have spotted it from Friday.
          Really what are those FIA officials doing? Or is making checks before the weekend and the race start too tiring for them?

          • jose arellano said on 27th March 2011, 21:30

            its the teams obligation to be aligned with the rules at all times. the fia can do any test at any time

  4. The Edge (@the-edge) said on 27th March 2011, 11:59

    does that mean lewis is now safe?

    • Not necessarily – I’m not sure whether parc fermĂ© testing has finished yet (though the part that Sauber failed has been tested on Hamilton’s car and passed, implying that Lewis’ car’s been done).

  5. Wallbreaker said on 27th March 2011, 11:59

    what a shame, such a great race by both kobayashi and perez…

  6. Eggry (@eggry) said on 27th March 2011, 11:59

    Oh No! I thought they did fantastic job! What a mistake!(or cheating)

  7. F1Lover said on 27th March 2011, 12:00

    Heartbreaking it must be…I truly was happy for them.

  8. irishlad (@irishlad) said on 27th March 2011, 12:01

    What a shame :(, no fault of Perez or Kobayashi a real pity.

  9. Stefanauss (@stefanauss) said on 27th March 2011, 12:01

    Feel really bad for Perez. Not in general, but it was his debut and he did really well, and it feels good when an unconventional strategy gets rewarded…

  10. Stephen Jones (@aus_steve) said on 27th March 2011, 12:02

    will buxton: “The concave radius of sections of the 3 rear wing elements in contact with external air were smaller than the legal 100mm.”

    at least they’re being strict.
    But hey! perez will still take that as a 7th.. and this’ll be just more fire in the belly

    • Scribe (@scribe) said on 27th March 2011, 12:11

      aaah, that sounds miniscule. Doubt it contributed to Perez’s tire management< or Kobayashi's rather stirling work, he's maturing into a proper all round racer.

    • Electrolite said on 27th March 2011, 12:17

      “The concave radius of sections of the 3 rear wing elements in contact with external air were smaller than the legal 100mm.”

      That makes me sick.

      • Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 27th March 2011, 12:31

        I don’t even know what that means.

        • MuzzleFlash said on 27th March 2011, 13:37

          I take it to mean that the arc formed by each rear wing element (beam, wing and flap) mustn’t have a radius less than 100mm.

          Likely wrong though, I often am.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 27th March 2011, 13:52

            is it like “the trailing edge/front edge of the upper wing flap is too sharply formed (should be more rounded?)”

            Still a bit unsure what exaclty is wrong with what part of the rear wing flap.

          • Scribe (@scribe) said on 27th March 2011, 14:25

            If it’s that I will be well annoyed, regs be regs and all that but overly sharp trailing edge’s? Come off it, McLaren did that last year with the leading edge of their front wing. FIA told them to modify it for next race and they did. However knowing that makes me doubt it was something so minor, it will have had to have been an apreciable performance advantage for the FIA or the stewards to have taken such a harsh step.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 27th March 2011, 13:47

          LOL it took me a while before I got it as well. Thanks MuzzleFlash.

          But what it does not state, is by how much. Hard to tell really weather it would have mattered much.

          Looking forward to seeing Craig Scarborough or our F1Fanatic tech explanator John have a look at that soon.

          • MuzzleFlash said on 27th March 2011, 14:05

            Too much (negative) camber might be another way of explaining it.

            The Sauber’s were fastest through the speed traps in some sessions, so it’s made some difference.

            I really should know more about this, I have a report on aerofoil sections due in on Tuesday morning haha.

      • bosyber said on 27th March 2011, 14:49

        Does it mean that the top flap is too steep in the “closed” normal setting?

  11. sw6569 (@sw6569) said on 27th March 2011, 12:02

    wow. This is really unexpected. I suppose though, with all the crazy rule bending and flexible body work, we had lacked some good old fashioned cheating!

    Unfortunate for both drivers, they both drove great races, especially perez. I imagine they would have finished there regardless too.

  12. Peter said on 27th March 2011, 12:02

    wow that sucks…

  13. DannyJ said on 27th March 2011, 12:03

    Yet when Ferrari cheat, brazenly and openly breaking the no team orders rule last season, there’s no disqualification for the drivers… Hmmmm…

    Jean Todt anyone?

    • Electrolite said on 27th March 2011, 12:06

      COTD.

    • brxtr (@broxter) said on 27th March 2011, 12:09

      With this particular rule there is no element of subjectivity.

      • Scribe (@scribe) said on 27th March 2011, 12:12

        aaah well, and yet in the past. Ferrari most definatley messed about with the bodywork regs and got away with it.

      • DannyJ said on 27th March 2011, 12:17

        A Fair point Broxter… both drivers technically had an unfair advantage.

        Mind, Alonso gained an unfair advantage when Massa moved over, in direct breach of the rules. He received no penalty whatsoever. The team got a slap on the wrist, that’s all.

        The fact that that happened removes subjectivity from the argument. They did cheat. But Alonso was allowed to keep the points, position, and challenge for the title! I don’t get it.

        • Santi said on 27th March 2011, 12:29

          Kind of sick of hearing that same story of the team orders again and again. This article is about Sauber, not about Ferrari.

        • Ru_BD said on 27th March 2011, 13:25

          Did you guys forget about the cheating by Mclaren in 2008. In that time also only team were excluded from point not the driver. Do you think that being a part of the car, the driver did not get any unfair advantage over their rivals (specially Ferrari, where every data including car design, fuel tank capacity,etc are known by Mac). but still they are not disqualified from their point. even i remember about the time when BMW and Mclaren tried some illegal Tyre solution, driver are not penalized. So should we say that its only played against small teams. Whatever really sorry for Two sauber driver, who did fantastic job yet get nothing…………

          • DannyJ said on 27th March 2011, 14:54

            I agree, Mclaren got fined heavily, and rightly so. But the drivers got to keep the points and positions. Why strip the 2 Sauber-Ferrari drivers of theirs? This stinks.

          • The McLaren car was still legal even though they cheated to get it that way so the drivers didn’t have an unfair advantage as technically someone else could have reproduced it within the rules. Therefore it wouldn’t have been fair to punish the drivers. But ÂŁ100 million and disqualification from the constructors’ championship which is worth up to ÂŁ40 million in payment plus sponsorship is a very heavy fine and is much more than a few points.

            The rules are generally the same against all teams (Except Ferarri of course. Barge boards anyone?). The difference is larger teams tend to exploit ambiguous language and use different interpretations of rules to get by. When these are closed then the team is asked to remove the part but not penalised (over-flexing front wings). Here the rules were obvious with no ambiguity but were broken. It is sad though. I really like both Sauber drivers.

      • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 27th March 2011, 13:04

        ‘Team orders that interfere with the race result are prohibited.’

        1: Changed the victor
        2: Was justified by Ferrari because Vettel was catching

        Lots of subjectivity there!

    • troutcor said on 27th March 2011, 12:43

      Next time it rains, I’m late for work, or I get the sniffles, I’m blaming Ferrari. Obviously they are behind all evil in the entire world.

  14. Jake said on 27th March 2011, 12:03

    How the hell did that happen when the cars go into parc ferme and are checked out before the race? They aren’t allowed to change those things FIA fail as usual.

    • jagolevert (@jagolevert) said on 27th March 2011, 12:06

      That is a very good point. Oh it’s so ridiculous, way to wreck Perez’s debut :(

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 27th March 2011, 13:10

      How the hell did that happen when the cars go into parc ferme and are checked out before the race?

      Parc ferme is not scruitineering. Parc ferme is simply a state where the cars go into quarantine; they cannot be altered or modified in any way (unless there is damage).

      Scruitineering takes place on the Thursday before the race to inspect the cars and make sure they comply with the regulations. Teams, however, can make changes to the bodywork over the course of a weekend. We’ve seen them run new rear wings, or experiment with F-ducts in the past. There was nothing to prevent Sauber from adding a new rear wing element before the race.

      This is why we have post-race scruitineering. It’s to stop teams from passing the inspection and then adding new, illegal parts ahead of the race and getting away with it.

      • Cacarella (@cacarella) said on 27th March 2011, 15:28

        Thanks for that PM. It clears up some of the confusion as to why it may have been caught during the post race scruitineering. Now I wonder if we could find out if they actually did change the wing during the weekend? It does make the most sense,

  15. Himmat S. said on 27th March 2011, 12:03

    What a bummer. I hope that Perez is still the star of the weekend.

    • Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 27th March 2011, 12:34

      I don’t think this changes the impression that Perez has made one bit. Apart from being stricken from the results and losing his points, he has not lost any of the respect and admiration that he earned with his drive earlier today.

      • Anonymous said on 27th March 2011, 12:53

        Perez was the one who managed his tyres, if it was trickery with the car then kobayashi would have only done one stop also.

        Perez is clearly someone to watch, but I feel for kobayashi – he was racing for his people in japan.

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