Sergio Perez, Sauber, Melbourne, 2011

Kobayashi and Perez disqualified from results

2011 Australian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

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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Image ?? Sauber F1 Team

202 comments on “Kobayashi and Perez disqualified from results”

  1. Didn’t see that coming…

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

      1. 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.

        1. 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.

          1. 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.

          2. 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.

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

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

          The cars were held in parc fermé, 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.

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

            Damn I’m angry about this thing.

          2. 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.

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

          4. 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!

          5. 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 :/

          6. 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.

          7. 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.

          8. 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.

          9. 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.

          10. very cool – cheers

          11. 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.

          12. 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.

          13. 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.

    2. 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!

      1. 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.

        1. 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.

      2. 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. 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!

    1. Agreed… could they not have decided that the cars did not comply with rules before the race?

      1. Who knew before the race that these guys would finish better than a Ferrari driver?

    2. Yeah, for sure he cannot forget forever.

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

    1. 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

      1. 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.

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

          1. 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.

          2. 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.

          3. 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.

        2. 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.

      2. 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.

        1. 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?

          1. jose arellano
            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. does that mean lewis is now safe?

    1. Not necessarily – I’m not sure whether parc fermé 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. what a shame, such a great race by both kobayashi and perez…

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

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

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

  9. 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. 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

    1. 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.

    2. “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.

      1. I don’t even know what that means.

        1. 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.

          1. 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.

          2. 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.

        2. 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.

          1. 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.

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

  11. 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. wow that sucks…

  13. 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?

    1. COTD.

    2. With this particular rule there is no element of subjectivity.

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

      2. 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.

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

          1. Sauber? Ferrari?
            Sauber-Ferrari :D

          2. @Santi Oh Boo Hoo! Excuse me whilst I wipe away the tears…

            Mud sticks… get used to it. No-one likes a cheat…

        2. 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…………

          1. 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.

          2. 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 £100 million and disqualification from the constructors’ championship which is worth up to £40 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.

      3. ‘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!

        1. Yes, there is.

    3. 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.

      1. Well yeah but there’s no need to mak a big deal out of it.

      2. It’s the best way to offer some perspective on how petty this us though, like it or not. It’s the good story of the current moment to compare it to in this respect.

      3. Yeah, I was gutted by this, and am no fan of Ferrari, but insinuating that Ferrari somehow pulled strings to make this happen and help Massa, is just fantasy.

  14. 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.

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

    2. 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.

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

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

  16. somerandomguy
    27th March 2011, 12:03

    i feel sorry for the drivers they didnt do anything wrong

  17. Noooo :'(
    At least Massa is 7th now.

    1. By choice of the scrutineers?

  18. That sucks! Why wasn’t this flagged in scrutineering before the race?

  19. aaaaaah, what a shame. That’s terrible, I hope they can keep it up adn make the points up in Malaysia. Bt it was just a tiny cock up at that, ah well the regs is the regs.

    Hope they fix it and kick on, they look a wonderfully exciting package.

    1. It is a shame but it reminds me of Loeb who was disqualified in 2009 as his rally car was missing one tiny part. It seemed ridiculously strict but at the same time rules are rules unfortunately .

  20. strange that the scrutineers disqualify perez and kobayashi on a small technicality, and let hamilton pass with “major floor damage” as described by hamilton himself! in fact half his undertray had ripped off and his plank was properly worn down altering dramatically the ride height. Welcome to F1 Perez, you are starting to understand how things are in F1..

    1. Even as a devout Maclaren & Lewis fan, I have to agree…

      1. Yeah zenman1, you are Mclaren-Lewis fan and i am the pope.

        Marcello huh? That sounds very Italian. I think i know why someone wants Mclaren punished.

    2. Because McLaren purposely designed the floor to break?!?

      Sauber dropped the ball making a careless mistake like that, they can’t blame anyone else except for the person in the design team responsible for checking against the regulations.

      I’m really annoyed about this because now I’m unsure whether any of the Sauber drivers performance was aided by the wing not conforming to the regs. I doubt it would have made a significant difference but it will have to wait until the next race before we know for sure.

    3. You don’t get disqualified just for having a damaged car, you know.

      If you think that was some clever ruse by McLaren to lower the car’s ride height and gain extra performance, take a look at Hamilton’s lap times from the end of the race.

    4. The rules state that the plank thickness is measured in 7 or 8 holes that are put in it at specific locations.

      If Hamilton damaged the leading edge of the plank then that’s not where the thickness is measured.

      Even if he completely worn the plank off at that point he still would not be disqualfied.

      That’s how Red Bull got away with their flexing floor. They were putting a part of the floor on the ground where the thickness is not measured.

  21. But was this the reason that Perez could finish the race with only one stop? I really don’t know.

  22. How can this be???

    Aren’t they supposed to be scrutinized and thoroughly checked to conform to the technical regulations BEFORE they are allowed to race or even be entered as a viable vehicle.
    Think the FIA need to give themselves a long hard look, seeing as they gave it the green light to race in first place…

    1. It is the same attitude behind the FIA allowing HRT to enter the championship and give them money without actually making sure they will turn up with a reasonable car.

      “Take the money now and sort it all out afterwards”…

  23. As has been pointed out elsewhere, why was this not picked up in pre-race scrutineering?

    1. Hope Sauber can appeal.

      1. Update: Sauber have announced they will appeal the decision.

    2. They don’t test all the cars on every detail.

      Jo Bauer’s Technical report (on the FIA website) shows a huge amount of checks that they performed though. Guess Suaber was just unlucky? Or maybe they test every car in the top 10?

  24. This reminds me Kubica’s debut – this was also place in points (7th afair) and he was also disqualified (weight problem) in Sauber car. Good sign for Perez :)

  25. I’ll be interested to hear what Martin Brundle (fifth on debut, later disqualified for fuel irregularities) might have to say about Perez’s situation…

    1. Kubica was also DSQed on debut wasn’t he?

      1. Yes, underweight.

  26. Probably what happened was that the parts suffered from stress and their property changed. Or else the FIA should tell us how that car passed the post qualifying scrutineering. For all you know just 1mm caused the failure.
    Hamilton’s care will show uneven flore damage which will hamper performance than if the floor was uniformly worn out.
    So Coulthard just making noise about his ex team that lost patience with him.

    1. I think with the floor it has to be over a certain area, rather than just the front edge, like you said it would have hampered rather than helped, and especially with the drag and resistance. To be honest he’s lucky he didnt do a Webber if it had dug in…

  27. WHAT!!! This sucks bigtime.

  28. bugger. thats a shame, but as they say, rules are rules.

    1. But it looks like that’s not the same case with Hamilton. It seems rules are not same for everyone.

      1. there’s no reason to suggest hamilton’s car broke the rules

      2. Well its obvious McLaren didnt plan to make that happen, if indeed the plank was destroyed they may have been more lenient as it was accident damage, while Sauber put the parts on the car even if they didnt know they were against the rules, or they knew they were illegal and used them anyway.

        1. Both cars having the same issue shows that it was at least by design – maybe design error, or wrong design, but it wasn’t coincidence. Could still be McLaren made Hamilton’s bib not strong enough, but for all we know, the wear wasn’t severe enough, or clearly enough “race damage” to still pass.

    2. I wondered how long it will take this year for the stewards to prove once more that they are inconsistent imbeciles. In past years RBR, Macca have been asked to change minor performance parts for the next race, because they don’t comply, thats fair enough. But now Sauber get DSQ’ed for non performance part and such formality as concave radius curvature of the wing flap, this is madness.

      1. But now Sauber get DSQ’ed for non performance part

        Just because the guy who designed it says doesn’t give performance doesn’t mean it’s true.

        1. Yeah, he would say that wouldn’t he.

          Hard to tell really. It does seem a very minor thing, but who knows what difference it might make in effect.

          As you pointed out, both Saubers were very high on the top speeds, so its no wonder their wings got closely looked at just in case.

          But its sad we have the first race and the first DSQ (although finding this only later in the season would be pretty bad as well) and the first appeal going.

  29. No it wasn’t the reason. By not making it into the top 10 in qualifying, Perez was able to save some fresh tyres. He could also start the race with brand new tyres, unlike his team mate. And new tyres last longer especially when not being driven very hard.

  30. How come it wasn’t picked in the Pre-race scrutineering?

  31. Beyond devastating :( Poor Perez and Kobayashi, this isn’t their fault! Not sure who to blame though.. The team? Or the FIA for allowing it to pass in the first place.. Would Sauber go as far as changing the car after it passing the FIA’s inspection?

    Would this infringement affect handling the tyres in anyway? If not Perez is still a star..

  32. Once again F1 destroys its own good news stories and creates a PR disaster…when will it learn?

    I presume the RBR front wing will be scrutinized again now and fully expect to see SV and MW excluded also……not.

    1. Rules are rules and they must be followed, even if the stewards aren’t always consistant with penalties. It’s still a real shame that this happened, Kobayashi and Perez drove really well today.

      1. Exactly. It’s a massive shame for the team but if they had an illegal part on the car, they should be punished accordingly.

        1. Agree completely, I’m devastated because this has become one of my favourite teams, and Perez had such a dream start to his career… But like slr said, rules are rules.

  33. “The test is conducted with a template and would not have come to light until after the race because not all FIA tests are conducted routinely every weekend.”

    That’ll be why the rule infringement wasn’t picked up until after the race. It’s Sauber’s fault for not complying with the rules.

    1. But even so, it surely should have udergone thorough scrutiny and every check that it complied prior to being issued with a certificate/license to take part in this season…
      Something stinks.

    2. How is it their fault, the FIA test the cars, it’s their responsibility to make sure the cars are not only safe but meet the requirements. They have Thursday, Friday and Saturday to do the checks there isn’t an excuse.

      Or are you saying it would be ok to have a car unsafe on the grid because the checks are only done after the grand prix? nonsense. The FIA are a joke to the world of motorsport time to bring ACO into the sport http://old.motorsport.com/news/article.asp?ID=372421&FS=LEMANS

      1. thatscienceguy
        27th March 2011, 13:13

        It’s not the FIA’s responsibility to make sure the cars fit the requirements, its the TEAMS responsibility to make sure their cars fit the requirements.

        1. Bingo. I don’t see how people are blaming the FIA for this, it was Sauber’s job to bring a legal car.

          For sure it is deeply unfortunate, but that’s F1 for you.

          To be honest the FIA has it’s hands tied, it can’t let this go or other wise FI and co. will get their back up about it.

      2. A team doesn’t just design a car and turn up without checking for themselves that it doesn’t break the rules.

        They are grownups and will take responsibility, instead of blaming the FIA for catching them breaking the rules.

        1. Or at least I thought they would until I saw the story Prisoner Monkeys posted below.

      3. Well, I agree that it would have been good to test this stuff before the race, but in the end the team are responsible for making their car comply to the rules, not the FIA.

  34. You can prove that rear wing was illegal but to a lesser extent, Mclaren and Ferrari – and mainly RedBull Racing have front wings which flexing, clearly against the written intention of the rules, but FIA say/do nothing.

  35. A real shame. Regardless, Perez still impressed. All we can hope is that no-one else gets away with anything similar in the future.

  36. James Key says it didn’t give them a performance advantage, but the stewards won’t are about that – what matters if is the rules are broken.

    And it can hardly help Sauber’s cause that their cars were quickest through the speed trap in qualifying.

    1. thatscienceguy
      27th March 2011, 13:25

      when teams change components by miniscule amounts to eek out every advantage they can get, I think he’ll have a hard time convincing anyone that a wing outside of the size limits won’t contribute to performance.

      As you say, size limits are size limits and you have to be within those limits. There’s no grey area there.

    2. Even taking that into account this technical issue should be detected before the race.

      As far as I know Sauber did not change any part of their cars during the race.

      They should not be disqualified for something that could be checked before the race (these parts of the cars were not hiden).

    3. If a rule is broken but safety is not compromised or performance gained then there should be no punishment.

      1. That’s opening a whole new can of worms there…

  37. Younger Hamii(Formally Younger Hamilton)
    27th March 2011, 13:22

    WHAT IS THIS?? Seriously i first assumed but their Cars were underweight similar to what happened to Jenson in Imola 2005 but something with the ‘Upper Rear Wing element’ I think that ridiculous Disqualification Ruins Sergio’s and Kamui’s Confidence especially the fact they’re young drivers.But **** Happens in Sport now i really hope they get some decent points on the board in Malaysia.

    **** the FIA

    1. I don’t think this will ruin Kobayashi’s or Perez’s confidence. They both performed really well today, they were disqualified through no fault of their own.

    2. thatscienceguy
      27th March 2011, 13:28

      I think you meant to say “**** Sauber for not building a car within the rules.”

      1. Don’t be too harsh on Sauber… they just don’t have a Newey and a billion dollars in sponsorship, to get them to the top of the grid.

        They tried to design around what they thought was a loophole on the regs and they lost.

        It’s happened to bigger teams.

        1. i dont think they tried to find a loophole, there isnt any grey area in those regs

          1. This isn’t a loop hole. It’s just them messing up by .5 of a MM.
            @Alex BKK, you don’t need Newey or a billion dollars to measure something correctly or read the rules.

  38. Heartbreak for Perez. A rule is a rule though and don’t see a successful appeal.

    Well done though to Paul Di Reta who now scores his first point if DSQ stands.

    1. Scoring a point in your first F1 race is a pretty big deal.

      I don’t think it matters how you get it.

  39. The race was so boring that stewards decided to step in.

    In my opinion one of the worst races ever.

  40. And this kind of technical things must be checked BEFORE the race.

    1. Sauber should have checked this yes.

      1. No the FIA should not have tested the cars to see if they are legal. The FIA do a number of random tests in scrutineering (appart from the obvious ones like weighing the cars). the reason this wasn’t picked up on before was it wasn’t tested for before.
        It’s Saubers responsibility to race a car that’s legal.

        1. But surely just as it is the responsibility of Sauber to race a car that is legal, it is also up to the FIA to enforce the very rules they set, and make sure they are legal.
          You cant tell me they just take it for granted that each car is within the set parameters each season. Otherwise you would as somebody else stated, have teams constantly flouting the rules on the off chance their vehicle would slip through…it’s not happening is it!!!

          Hopefully all this will be sorted over next week or so with the appeal. And the exact problem and how it came about will come out.

  41. Any advantage will be in the area of downforce which should hurt straight line speed. The dont say if the concave part or exceeding the reference plane is what got them in trouble. Becauce if its just a question of the reference place,, its obvious that the flap can be shifted forward by a few millimeters and thus past the regulations. Which makes me wonder if it is caused by wear along the axis in which the flap pivots. On another note, how anyone can decode this reference plane stuff just beats me.

  42. Not every aspect of the restrictions placed in the regulations are there to hinder performance. Some are just there to ensure certain sections of the car fall within a certain dimension. For example the regulations call for a very wide front wing, but the teams hardly need all that downforce hence they only use part of the allowable arear to generat downforceand then use the rest as air channels to condition the airflow.

  43. It this was Ferrari’s rear wing the FIA would introcude a 100mm tolerance :P

    Shame, but I have to say I’m not too surprised. The rules are so complex it’s very easy to either misinterpret or just ignore something by accident.

  44. ARGH! Terrible news, this has put a downer on the race. I was so happy for both drivers, especially Perez. I hope their appeal is successful.

  45. That said…rules are rules. As long as no actual advantage was gained at least we have an indication of where Sauber are.

    1. I have to agree. We’ll see if the change will affect their performance. Especially that they were presumably fastest at speed trap.

      Of the drivers are unhappy (as most of us are too), but everybody’ll get over it soon. **** happens.

      Remember Kubica was disqualified in his first F1 race for the car being underweight of about 200g. Two races later he scored a podium.

      1. And he was disqualified from 7th. Its an omen ;)

  46. Well, regardless of this, Perez did show a great race, and did really well to keep his tyres alive so long. Kobayashi also had a good race, and it looks like the Sauber is quick.

    This is a bummer especially as it seems a pre-race check would have allowed Sauber to amend it, but still, Sauber is probably a lot happier with the weekend than Williams, with a good speed in the race that again didn’t amount to results due to mistakes and unreliability. In contrast to that, it probably will be a small tweak for Sauber and looking at a good next race.

    1. What gets me is, that quite a lot of the teams have tried racing “on edge” parts (or way over it in some cases) before.

      But when its the big teams mostly the FIA just agreed to them not using it for the next time. A bit of a shame for the first race.

  47. I now see it was the radius part they failed. So the ball of a certain radius must at least make uniform contact with that flap or contact at only one point. I dont know what the regulation says about the size of the flap.

  48. The rules are the rules, but i don’t get why they didn’t test these things before the weekend?
    Anyway, i am gutted by this. It was a great result for Sauber today and especially on Perez’ debut.

  49. remember the toyota’s in 2009 having their rear wings checked aftewr quali and then getting penalties, shame the fia couldnt of done this check before the race, poor perez

    1. its the teams responsibility to ensure their cars are legal, they are checked by the FIA on the thursday, then the teams obviously change bits, try new parts etc: so those which are classified as race finishers are checked again after the race as is the case here, obviously something the team put onto the car during the weekend was not within the rules.

      Shame but it was good to see Sauber up there and hopefully they will be next time out.

      1. Shame that Sauber didn’t take the wing to the FIA before the race and ask; is this legal? Can they do that? I presume they can, it’s not like the race scrutinisers have anything else to do before the race.

  50. Sauber broke the rule, so the punishment was fair. Technical infringements, however small, almost always carry the penalty of exclusion from the race.

    However, this is a perfect illustration of what I’ve been saying in recent weeks about the technical regulations being too tightly defined. If the FIA want all the wing elements to conform to specification, why not issue spec ones? The situation we have now is just a very expensive way of achieving the same thing.

  51. I don’t see any comments from Keith or other fellow F1 pundits like Macademia nut etc. What do you guys think?
    Also I felt uneasy about the Stewards having more power from this year(more sanctions like exclusions from the results like this and banning from one race etc), should they really have this or should a central community from FIA(that don’t change between races) have this responsibility??

  52. Rules are rules and they should apply to everybody.
    This situation is similar to one when Kubica finished on a podium as a rookie. He got disqualified because his car was too light but hardly anybody remembers that nowdays. What is remembered is his great drive.

  53. Damn, I was so happy for the pair of them.

  54. Drama. Rules are rules, but I hate it when the results are altered. Nothing you can do when teams cheat, with bad intentions or not, I know. But I don’t like it.

    The only alternative would be to check everything pre race.

  55. This has almost completely RUINED the race in my opinion.

  56. The system of punishment is flawed and must go. Punishment should be proportionate to the advantage gained by the infringement. If nothing was gained, then no punishment. The current system is too heavy-handed.

    1. I’m sure if you design a system and send in the idea, they will consider it.

      I warn you though… It’s not that easy.

  57. If there was an speed advantage, this should cause more wear on brakes and tires at braking time, right? So how could “Checo” make his tires last so much, both compounds, its just testament of a talent that sponsor money can’t buy. Great start for him anyway.

  58. Couldn’t this technical miscue be discovered with pre-race car inspections bu officials of all cars?

    1. But then teams could put something illegal on the car at the very last minute after the checks, and get away with it.

    2. This is what I thought, seems strange, and potentially dangerous, that they can drive illegal cars.

  59. Even if Sauber did get an advantage by breaking the rules (I don’t think it was significant)rookie Perez showed what he can get a decent result given good car, unlike Massa…

    1. I’m betting Massa won’t have a seat at Ferrari next year.

  60. Regardless of this, Sauber just might have the most promising duo on the grid. It sucks, but rules are rules; they’ll bring the car up to snuff and be on their way to a season that’s looking good.

  61. All these comments suggesting the FIA need to do more are completely missing the point.
    Wing elements are frequently and routinely changed by teams between races and even during a race weekend.
    There’s no way the FIA could check the wing “at the start of the season” or even in Thursday’s scrutineering.
    Sauber screwed up by running an illegal part. It’s that simple. I’m as miffed as anyone that it’s altered the result and is hugely disappointing for them. BUT the blame lies in only one place – the team themselves.

    1. +1
      Its not good or fair but only Sauber are to blame.

    2. Ok, taking that as the general rule of thumb then, if they knew they had changed a wing part, which presumably was done before ‘Parc Ferme’ on Saturday. Would it not have been prudent to think, ok we will check the wing before the race tomorrow, to avoid any problems after, at least that way they would have to put back the previous part and regardless of the outcome could participate knowing they were legal.
      I understand the onus is on the team to comply with regulations, but it is also partly the FIA’s aswell, they introduce them, so it is also partly on them to enforce them…works both ways.
      Regardless bad result this weekend, but hopefully the teams as a whole will think once bitten twice shy and it will not happen again…

  62. How was this not picked up in homologation? Unless the rear wing has changed since then.

  63. So, Massa and Ferrari benefit…surprise, surprise. A little help from the FIA.

  64. Pink Pirelli
    27th March 2011, 22:30

    Very disappointing, I hate it when results are changed after the race. Still, it was a performance to be proud of for both drivers. I look forward to seeing what else they have in store for us this season.

  65. potsdam curray
    28th March 2011, 0:25

    Sauber is not Mclaren. Hammy gets away with a non conforming floor pan and Sauber gets shafted

  66. I seriously hope this is overturned. Utterly crushing as Koby fan

    1. & Perez fan. I liked both of them.

  67. Such a shame, if Sauber are wrong then it is devastating. Both their drivers did nothing wrong. This is not what I expected from a very experience squad in F1.I don’t think they will anything by appealing against that.

  68. tolgakaranlik
    28th March 2011, 7:09

    Well it is sad indeed but I believe the most important fact is that Sauber has made a strong, durable and fast car and had good drivers. I don’t know whether their appeal will result negative or positive, but it is certain that they will get a lot more points this year

  69. Excellent drives from the Sauber boys yesterday, particularly from perez.

    Funny how nobody really suffered with the tyres, and the race was pretty interesting.

    Have to say I was surprised that Ferrari and Mercedes were off the pace. Massa still seems to be struggling for some reason. I dont think he’ll last past this season.

    Still, nice to be talking about racing :-) F1 is back!

  70. James Key isn’t that the person who designed the FI wich was also very fast on the straights? So if he says the wing didn’t contribute to performance i really should look at the wing because it certainly does something on the straights.

  71. I really hate it when the result is changed after the race, especially for a minor technical infringement, still I guess rules are rules and if you turn up with a car that doesn’t conform to them then you can’t complain.

    I do think though that in these situations – where the offending part can be proved no to have a performance benefit – the drivers should be reinstated provided that it can be proved and provided that the offending part is changed for the next race. At the very least, this should apply for a first offence.

  72. I supposed cars were checked by the stewards before the race, on Saturday afternoon for example. But it isn’t!!!! So they let Sauber run and then comes up the surprise of an out-of-rules element? I don’t think FI or Ferrari had claimed for it (not this time, not yet) but there should be more control on these wings and stuff before racing.

  73. Says Martin Brundle:

    I scored points in my first-ever grand prix and they were later rescinded through no fault of my own. It doesn’t matter though because 27 years later it only annoys me about once a month now.

    I imagine that’s how Perez and Kobayashi are feeling right about now. Poor buggers. But yeah, only Sauber as a team are to blame if this does turn out to be true.

    It’s funny though, the top of the Sauber wing looks more curved than some of the other teams’, not less.

    1. Ah, wait, they were deemed to be too curved, presumably. So that observation would be correct in that light. Oops :)

    2. Brundle lost more than just those point in his first race. He was DQ’ed from every race that season and lost all of his results including a podium at Detroit.

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