Hamilton penalty hands Maldonado first pole position

2012 Spanish Grand Prix

Pastor Maldonado, Williams, Barcelona, 2012Pastor Maldonado has inherited pole position for the Spanish Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton was handed a grid penalty after stopping on his return to the pits in Q3 and will start from the back of the grid.

McLaren instructed Hamilton to stop as he had too little fuel in the car and needed to retain enough to provide a sample to the FIA for testing.

Although the rules allow a car to be stopped on its return to the pits if needed, a shortage of fuel is not considered an acceptable reason.

A statement from the stewards read:

“The stewards received a report from the race director which stated that during post-qualifying scrutineering a sample of fuel was required from car four, however, the car failed to return to the pits under its own power as required under Article 6.6.2 of the FIA Formula One Technical Regulations.

“The stewards heard from the team representative Mr Sam Michael who stated that the car stopped on the circuit for reasons of force majeure. A team member had put an insufficient quantity of fuel into the car thereby resulting in the car having to be stopped on the circuit in order to be able to provide the required amount for sampling purposes.

“As the amount of fuel put into the car is under the complete control of the competitor the stewards cannot accept this as a case of force majeure.

“The stewards determine that this is a breach of Article 6.6.2 of the FIA Formula One Technical Regulations and the competitor is accordingly excluded from the results of the qualifying session. The competitor is however allowed to start the race from the back of the grid.”

Article 6.6.2 of the technical regulations states: “Competitors must ensure that a one litre sample of fuel may be taken from the car at any time during the event.

“Except in cases of force majeure (accepted as such by the stewards of the meeting), if a sample of fuel is required after a practice session the car concerned must have first been driven back to the pits under its own power.”

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2012 Spanish Grand Prix

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578 comments on Hamilton penalty hands Maldonado first pole position

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  1. Preekel (@preekel) said on 12th May 2012, 18:47

    McLaren will lose him soon!

    • trebor27 (@trebor27) said on 12th May 2012, 18:48

      Why would they loose him, it’s hardly his fault.

      • Preekel (@preekel) said on 12th May 2012, 18:50

        Exactly, its the teams fault, over and over again!

        • trebor27 (@trebor27) said on 12th May 2012, 18:52

          Cant think of another team where he would go. Mercedes seems the best bet but highly doubt it.

          • Eggry (@eggry) said on 12th May 2012, 18:55

            well, I don’t thinks it’s hardly. after all, Hamilton is half-Mclaren half-Mercedes creature.

          • kowalsky is back said on 12th May 2012, 19:13

            mercedes would be the place. didn’t you see brawn talking with lewis brother. he would be perfect to take schumis seat.
            But it is such a gamble to leave mclaren, that is almost crazy.
            They made him lose the title in 2007, and now this pole. but the car is always fast. So i recomend LEWIS TAKE THE PAIN.

        • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 12th May 2012, 20:54

          He also made his fair amount of mistakes… and I didn’t see McLaren dropping him…

          • trophicip (@trophicip) said on 12th May 2012, 21:35

            If you take a look at Hamilton’s F1 career, nearly ALL of his errors have been a result of trying to compensate for mistakes by McLaren. He makes very few unforced errors.

          • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 12th May 2012, 22:07

            @trophicip well, that’s debatable… I’m not too sure… though I admit McLaren’s been doing more mistakes than usual, but I think it’s not too far from the rest of the guys in the field.

          • Kodongo (@kodongo) said on 12th May 2012, 22:11

            Hamilton makes errors while pushing to or beyond the limit. But the difference is that McLaren are making basic errors under no pressure. Allowing for the pit stop gaffes, they have left something in Jenson’s car in Monaco 2010, they have underfuelled Lewis TWICE now and more.

            How does this look for a statistic:

            HAM:
            Average Quali Pos. Chronometrically = 1+1+2+2+1 = 7 ÷ 5 = 1.4 th place
            Penalty Corrected = 1+1+7+2+24 = 35 ÷ 5 = 7th place.
            Penalty Places Lost = 28; Driver Induced = 0; Extra Vehicular = 28.

            Add in the dodgy pit stops and the picture becomes bleeker.

            Dennis’ McLaren aspired to be the best. Whitmarsh’s McLaren seems to aspire to being the nicest. Maybe Martin has been championing the mediocre tyres so fervently that his lust for mediocrity has permeated his team.

          • Mike (@mike) said on 13th May 2012, 4:34

            @kodongo You do realize that the driver is just one part in a very big team?

            I think, if you pull your head out, you’ll find the the guys in Mclaren are working very, very hard to make things work. Yes mistakes have been made, but that comes with the pressure of F1.

            That, and Hamilton isn’t exactly an angel is he now? :D

          • trophicip (@trophicip) said on 13th May 2012, 5:03

            @kodongo thanks for the statistics. That is the story I wanted to tell. In 2010 and 2011 they were qualifying strategy errors that put Hamilton well back in the field that required him to push so hard. True @fer-no65, my statements are debatable, but I have developed the utmost respect and admiration for the McLaren organization because of the precision with which it was run under Ron Dennis back in the Prose Senna days. And compared to then, I have no idea what McLaren are doing these days.

        • tmax (@tmax) said on 12th May 2012, 21:11

          Poor lewis….totally agree…. McLaren has been putting all wrong step forward in every GP….. Recently I have seen news where Lewis has been praising Lotus…. You may never know… there could be various possibilities…….

          How about Kimi going Back to Mclaren…. :)

          • tmax (@tmax) said on 12th May 2012, 21:42

            and this is what happened

            How did it happen? My BBC colleague Gary Anderson saw the refuelling and said this, “The fuel rig guy put the rig on, but he had the handle set to drain fuel. He discovered his mistake and switched it to put fuel in the car. But as a result he didn’t put as much fuel in it as he should have. He (Hamilton) went across the start-finish line 20 seconds before the chequered flag but if they had sat in the garage for three or four more seconds to get more fuel in, they still would have had time to cross the line and complete another flying lap. Sometimes I don’t think McLaren think on their feet.”

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 13th May 2012, 9:45

          One would feel he is as much justified in feeling badly serviced by the team for the string of mistakes as Kimi was justified for feeling desperate about consistently blowing up Mercedes engines @preekel

      • moonlight (@prdsh) said on 12th May 2012, 19:06

        why is he staring on back of the grid.. he should atmost be relegated to P10 as he got in to q3..ridiculous rule this …

        • moonlight (@prdsh) said on 12th May 2012, 19:08

          Now the 2 lotus have very good chances of winning this race

        • Nigel Randtoul (@mclarenati) said on 12th May 2012, 19:49

          Yep the rule is excluded from the session which was Q3, so 10th is right. However the stewards have made the unfathomable decision to exclude from the ENTIRE session – another grey worded rule interpreted by faceless politicians.

          • Mike (@mike) said on 13th May 2012, 4:36

            Depends what the rules was, and the consequences. I don’t see any quotes backing up your outrage.

          • Hatebreeder (@hatebreeder) said on 13th May 2012, 4:45

            Why aren’t rules more precise? Instead of giving Hamilton a grid penalty, isn’t it wiser to not consider lewis’s race points in the constructors score or negate a certain number of points from the constructors score? Because it isn’t exactly Lewis’s fault that the car ran low on fuel right?

        • rick2k9 (@rick2k9) said on 12th May 2012, 20:33

          agreed

        • Ian (@valkyrassassin) said on 12th May 2012, 21:40

          This is very wrong, not fair on poor Lewis, especially as his previous lap would have still put him in the top 6. Last place is a joke. Are there any haters in amongst the stewards? Seems a very over the top action to take.

          • HoHum (@hohum) said on 12th May 2012, 23:58

            Might have helped if he had been Spanish.

          • Solo (@solo) said on 13th May 2012, 1:25

            Well considering they even called him after practice there might be some dislike.

          • cos_im_black said on 13th May 2012, 2:45

            Maybe its because he’s black…

          • Mike (@mike) said on 13th May 2012, 4:38

            he had been Spanish,

            he’s black…

            Seriously guys, just, go away, just don’t even go there. It’s stupid, and pointless.

          • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 13th May 2012, 9:55

            Indeed @mike. And after all, the stewards aren’t all Spanish are they? Kristensen would not let any of that influence him at least!

        • trophicip (@trophicip) said on 13th May 2012, 5:07

          If the lap gave him an unfair advantage, should they not just delete the lap? This stewarding is laughable.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 13th May 2012, 9:51

          I would say that an appropriate penalty would have been taking his fastest lap away. That would have put him a few rows back on the grid, but would still allow him a decent race, as he had been really quick all day.

        • smithy (@scubian) said on 14th May 2012, 13:46

          Given that he posted a time previously in Q3 and met all the necessary criteria on that run, it does seem extraordinarily harsh to disqualify him from all 3 qualifying sessions. The pundits alway say that the show must go on, but I suspect the fans will begin to get restless if the stewards continue to display such inconsistency in their judgements and particularly the penalties they enforce.

    • David BR (@david-br) said on 12th May 2012, 19:11

      Why lose Hamilton? Sack the management, they’re responsible.

      • infy (@infy) said on 12th May 2012, 20:39

        Management gave him the fastest car on the grid, and you are moaning?

        • David BR2 said on 12th May 2012, 21:10

          Whether the McLaren is now fastest is debatable – even more so during a complete race. My point is that everyone above is suggesting Hamilton should move away, but I’d suggest instead that changes at management level would be better for him and the team. Dismiss them, move them sideways, reassign jobs – whatever. As it is, it’s clearly not working. I also suspect that yet again McLaren seem to have verged on getting Hamilton involved in an honesty issue – their excuse of force majeure was clearly wrong (an untruth, let’s say) and FIA’s penalty suggests they suspect McLaren of deliberately underfueling. And if that’s true, it is a serious management issue. Not only the issue of potentially deliberate rule breaking, but also a practical question of their judgment: why risk underfueling when Hamilton was clearly doing fine without the extra help?

          • Mike (@mike) said on 13th May 2012, 4:41

            FIA’s penalty suggests they suspect McLaren of deliberately underfueling

            How so? Severity? What if the FIA took offense at Mclaren trying to play it off as force majeure? I hope more information comes out about the issue.

    • TommyB (@tommyb89) said on 12th May 2012, 19:12

      Can’t put the tyres on, can’t put the fuel in.

      We all wanted to know what would happen if McLaren had the best car and not Red Bull and this is what happens.

      No wonder they’ve haven’t won the constructors since 1999.

    • Tom (@newdecade) said on 12th May 2012, 19:21

      What can be said? Whitmarsh and to a lesser extent Sam Michael have absolutely no excuses for what has been a disastrously error strewn campaign. The buck stops with them – no excuses. Its absolutely appalling and the worst part is that the drivers have been almost blameless this year. Sack the pair of them NOW.

    • Andy Redden (@andyredden-on-f1) said on 12th May 2012, 19:50

      McLaren operationally have been a joke this season. Massively let down their drivers. Lewis should call that out tomorrow. Utterley incredible.

    • Stormbringer said on 12th May 2012, 20:10

      Hey Everyone! I don’t know if it had been discussed before or not, but could anyone tell me why there was no penalty for the drivers who stopped their cars immediately after the Bahrain GP? Regulation 6.6.2. clearly says ‘Competitors must ensure that a one litre sample of fuel may be taken from the car at any time during the Event.
      Except in cases of force majeure (accepted as such by the stewards of the meeting), if a sample of fuel is required after a practice session the car concerned must have first been driven back to the pits under its own power.’ In my point of view, ‘During the Event’ means from the first free practice to the end of the race. However, I cannot understand the “sample of fuel is required after a practice session’. It surely cannot mean that this rule can only be applied after a practice, as we can see it is applied after qualifying in this case. Why did they not apply it after last race? Nobody can tell me, that all the cars stopped after the Bahrain GP was due to force majeure…

      • alfz said on 12th May 2012, 20:30

        Duh, even though they were running low on fuel RBR had the sense to stop with more than 1 litre.
        Consider this, what will happen if the driver stops due to a mechanical failure after crossing the line?. Let’s say a punctured tire….
        The car will still be dragged, weighted and 1 litre of fuel taken and then taken back by the team. So, apparently it does not matter where the car stops, the 1 litre of fuel is mandatory.
        I personally think this is a very appropriate punishment. From a non-sentimental perspective the car is illegal and is excluded from the results. But i also think McLaren should be fined for sheer stupidity.

        • Lee1 said on 12th May 2012, 20:38

          Hamilton had 1.3 litres of fuel left so if what you say is true, why has he been penalised?

          • Afrozen said on 12th May 2012, 21:35

            Hamilton’s car needed at least 1.5 litres to make it back to the pits, that’s 200ml less than he had in his tank. He would not have made it back to the pits and he definitely wouldn’t have had enough fuel for the sample. I’m a Hamilton fan and I’m just bewildered by the catalogue of errors from his team. It’s almost as if Mclaren are exacting some kind of sadistic retribution for Hamilton’s dismal 2011 season. I don’t understand how someone forgetting to add enough fuel to Hamilton’s car constitutes Force Majeure! How amateurish for a supposedly top flight team

          • Lee1 said on 12th May 2012, 21:52

            Afrozen,

            Actually he needed much more than that at they need around 2l for the in lap.

            However I was replying the the above post which seemed to suggest that the reason that others have not been penalised is that they had at least 1l left after stopping. Which would suggest Lewis was wrongly penalised (I am aware that the rule does not state this) Still baffled as to why others have not been penaised though….

          • Faca said on 13th May 2012, 3:21

            He needed 1.5 to make it back to the pit plus he need 1 more for the fuel sample.

        • Stormbringer said on 12th May 2012, 20:55

          Yeah, I see your point, but it is still illegal. The question is not the remaining amount of at least 1 litre, but the obligation to return the car to the pits at all costs by it’s own power. E.g.: Rosberg, Massa and Vettel stopped the car immediately after the race in Sakhir, presumably in order to have the minimum amount of fuel, but no action was taken. Why?

          • Lee1 said on 12th May 2012, 21:01

            I can only assume the rule specifically applies to Qualifying (although I am sure it does not). Otherwise there is something strange going on. Does anyone know what the rule actually states?

          • Stormbringer said on 12th May 2012, 21:10

            See:
            ‘Competitors must ensure that a one litre sample of fuel may be taken from the car at any time during the event.’
            For me, the event is the whole race weekend.
            ‘Except in cases of force majeure (accepted as such by the stewards of the meeting), if a sample of fuel is required after a practice session the car concerned must have first been driven back to the pits under its own power.’
            E.g.: cars finishing the (Bahrain) race must have first been driven back to the pits under its own power, because ‘practice session’ is written in the regulation by mistake. They can’t be serious on applying the rule only to practice sessions, and as we can se, Hamilton was penalised after qualifying, which under no circumstances can be regarded as a practice session.
            All in all, I can’t believe that all the cars stopped after the Bahrain race had a force majeure to escape penalty. There is more chance to win the lottery…

          • Lee1 said on 12th May 2012, 21:49

            @stormbringer,

            Indeed and also I am pretty sure there has been at least one car stopped after every race this season so far and there were certainly other occasions last season too. Why is it only now that they choose to enforce the rule?

          • Jake (@jleigh) said on 12th May 2012, 22:18

            Just to clear something up. Qualifying sessions are classed as practice sessions. This is why Karun Chandhok could start the Bahrain 2010 gp

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 12th May 2012, 22:19

            Worth reviewing this article from last year:

            Five years, over 35 incidents: Has Hamilton been treated fairly?

          • Lee1 said on 12th May 2012, 22:29

            @Jake,

            How can they be classed as practice sessions? There are clearly different rules for practice and qualifying surely? For one, you are allowed to run illegal parts during practice but not in qualifying.

          • Mike (@mike) said on 13th May 2012, 4:56

            @Lee1 He said, Qualifying is practice, not practice is qualifying.

          • Mike (@mike) said on 13th May 2012, 5:05

            @jleigh I think you have it right.

          • Panda2073 (@panda2073) said on 13th May 2012, 5:42

            I think that stopping after the race will fall under force majeure and would be accepted as such by the stewards,Because depending on how you are driving over the course of the race determines you fuel consumption. so id they have bee pushing harder they would have had a hight fuel consumption. the Stewards would have considered that qualifying was a controlled scenario so the same would not apply as they would have known the consumption rate of the car going flat out for 3 laps so should have loaded it with 4 + 1 liter to be safe?

      • Funkyf1 (@funkyf1) said on 13th May 2012, 1:48

        Can someone answer me this?
        If Karthikeyan is allowed to start the race based on his practice times, what is the point of qualifying?? What if for example Friday practice is dry and on Saturday no driver can beat Fridays times because it’s raining, so not one car even bothers to go out on track! If the stewards are going to be as per rule book, their book needs some extra pages. It’s not credible for the FIA to start Lewis Hamilton who made it through two eliminations, behind a car that should not even be in the race.

        • Mike (@mike) said on 13th May 2012, 5:08

          @funkyf1 Even if Narian’s practice time was 10 seconds quicker than anyone set in qualifying, he’d start the race from the back.

          The practice times are used in that situation to show that he is able to race at a competitive and safe level, in event that they have problems in qualifying. Not to determine is grid place.

          If two drivers are unable to set qualifying times, then yes, I believe Friday times would be used to determine which of those two starts ahead.

          • Funkyf1 (@funkyf1) said on 13th May 2012, 6:16

            @mike But he is not starting from the back! He is in front of Lewis, yes I know Lewis has been penalized and that’s why he is last, but I was just asking the question on justification. Let’s say Vettel had car issues and didn’t set a time within the 107 rule, he would be able to start the race in front of Hamilton with plenty of spare sets of tyres. I was just flagging this situation as we all know Q3 is becoming a mind game, tyres vs grid spot and I think it needs to be regulated better.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 13th May 2012, 11:47

            That is because he was allowed to start despite setting a time that slowest and even slower than the 107%, but Hamilton does not have a quali time at all after the penalty @funkyf1

          • Funkyf1 (@funkyf1) said on 13th May 2012, 12:04

            @BasCB By technically either does Narain. He’s outside the rule! So that time he posted in Q1 doesn’t count, it’s not valid. See my point. I’m not wishing to continue this 12 page debate on what’s right and what wrong, would just like to see this process improved. Having cars not longer posting quickest laps in Q3 is a joke and having cars/drivers that are consistently off the pace is also not good for the sport.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 13th May 2012, 15:26

            @funkyf1, you might not like it, but that time from Karthikeyan is completely valid, just a tad slow (no doubt because he had only a couple of laps before thče car gave up).

            The 107% rule is not about infringements and breaking the rules if you do not manage that time, but to keep competitors from just showing up with a complete disaster of a car and clutter the track. So when HRT showed that their car had been fast enough to be reasonably fast (i.e. be able to get into those 107%), they were allowed to race it.

          • Funkyf1 (@funkyf1) said on 14th May 2012, 7:51

            I see your point, but in the race the car or driver was a disaster and just cluttered the track IMO.

    • Young One said on 12th May 2012, 20:18

      This is what he said at the start of the season:
      ‘My decision will be based on more than just the car’

      Lewis Hamilton: F1’s first four races may settle my McLaren future

      • alfz said on 12th May 2012, 20:39

        So, translate this to me. Does this mean that he is threatening to quit the team, again?. There will be few possible spots open next year. He can forget about Ferrari, RCR and Mercedes. Apart from this where does he intend to go?. To Lotus, Williams or Sauber?. Really?.
        Either he stays in McLaren for 2013 or he takes an involuntary and indefinite sabbatical like Kimi Raikkonen.

      • Tom (@newdecade) said on 12th May 2012, 20:52

        Ha! That prediction is uncomfortably close to the truth. Think everyone was anticipating a reversed situation from what we are seeing however.

      • Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 13th May 2012, 1:20

        Just as well, then, that this is already the fifth round. ;)

        Still, you’ve got to say that the odds of Lewis moving to another team (Mercedes?) increased after today.

    • infy (@infy) said on 12th May 2012, 20:41

      You guys are obviously not Mclaren fans! A real fan stands by his team no matter what. Take a clue from the Ferrari supporters…

      • Snafu (@snafu) said on 12th May 2012, 20:55

        exactly!
        I’ve been a Mclaren fan for 12 years now and although I’m sad for losing a pole, but I do believe that this was a mistake from an operator. sure they did it in Canada 2010 because they needed the advantage of less fuel, but they were comfortably faster than any other car today! it’s just irrational to risk a definite pole for a bigger gap to P2!

      • zicasso (@zicasso) said on 12th May 2012, 21:04

        @infy That’s not the case. Ferrari at least do damage limitations. They have/had an uncompetitive car and are doing the quickest pit stops at the moment to compensate for that. McLaren on the other hand do the opposite, waste opportunities one after the other.

        They are second and will probably go down in constructors because of forces/incompetence inside team. How can one just accept that? F1 is one of the most exciting sports and strives in efficiency. Of course we have allow for human error, especially from drives. But when a team consistently messes up and prevent their drivers to do their job something has to be addressed or there is not point in expecting their drivers to do their best.

        • Jeanrien (@jeanrien) said on 12th May 2012, 21:50

          Yep for the fan there is much more to cheer at Ferrari than in McLaren as the first one still bring results above expected while the second is miles from the spot they should occupy…

          Still don’t understand that rule, the penalty is quite disproportionate, as he still have the sample of fuel so they can make the test … So a fair penalty would be to cancelled his last lap as this was done with underfuel, or at most the session in which that occurs, but having to go to the back of the grid is harsh because he still used more tyre than the guys on 17th and around because he get through …

          But we all know where the rules come from and how fair they are ^^

          • infy (@infy) said on 12th May 2012, 23:25

            The rules need to be intentionally tough to deter future attempts to cheat.

          • Lee1 said on 13th May 2012, 8:49

            @Infy,

            I do agree to a point. However I think this is over severe, but as long as the same punishment is applied to all then fine. However why on earth does this rule apply to practice but not the race? What advantage is there to be gained by running out during practice 1,2 or 3?

      • sorin (@) said on 13th May 2012, 1:45

        In my oppinion are more Hamilton’s fans, than Mclaren fans.

      • alfz said on 13th May 2012, 11:21

        But they are retarded….aren’t they?.

    • Qem said on 12th May 2012, 20:53

      He’s too good to waste his time with mclaren – they cost him too many points/podiums. They are totally wasting his talent. He deserves better and needs to do what is right/best for him and forget the so called loyalty he owes them. He’s paid it in spades and it’s time they either shape up and do a half decent job or he should move on to pastures new. They have screwed up too many times.

      • Nick (@nick101) said on 12th May 2012, 21:33

        @Qem

        How exactly has he paid his loyalty in spades?? Oh, that’s right, by winning them ONE championship in 5 years – whilst getting paid £12-£15 million pounds per year! – and slagging the team off at every opportunity. He has paid nothing while he gets paid a bloody fortune!

        Don’t get me wrong, I believe that he fully deserved pole today, absolutely blistering lap and miles faster than anyone else, even with less fuel!

        However, the Hamilton fans need to remove the rose tinted spectacels when looking at their ‘Idol’ and remember last season! How many points did he cost himself and the team because he had ‘women problems’?? Seriously, women problems when you get paid that much?

        Yes, McLaren have c*cked up this year quite a few times already, but dont forget, Jenson has also been on the receiving end too.

        The last 2 weeks everyone has been bashing the living **** out of the left rear wheelman for the pit stops, but lets not forget, he’s a bloody volunteer. He doesn’t get paid £15m per year like Hamilton, yet his mistakes are a ‘bloody disgrace’, and Hamiltons woeful season last year is all forgotten.

        Let’s have some perspective people – after all, Hamilton is FAR from faultless!

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 12th May 2012, 21:38

          he’s a bloody volunteer. He doesn’t get paid £15m per year

          He may volunteer for that particular job within the team but he’s not working for them without pay so he isn’t a “volunteer” in that sense – even if his salary falls some way short of Hamilton’s.

        • Neel Jani (@neelv27) said on 12th May 2012, 22:21

          you sound more like an anti-hamilton fan rather than an f1 fan

          • bearforce1 (@bearforce1) said on 13th May 2012, 1:47

            Here we go. A person can’t just try to put a balanced view out about the situation and they get labled anti hamiton or a hater.

            A great many people here saying Mclaren have cost Lewis a lot but really Mclaren have given Lewis a great deal a WDC and a competitive car that consistently wins races each year.

            People have already forgotten Lewis last year.I still cant get Lewis freaky weird behaviour from last year out of my head when I see him. The amount of mistakes/aggressive behaviour that Lewis exhibited costing the team a great deal shouldn’t be forgotten.

            In saying all that Lewis was in a class of his own out there and it is a genuine shame that he misses out on his pole start. That though is the F1, poop happens.

        • zicasso (@zicasso) said on 12th May 2012, 22:25

          @nick101
          I don’t see anyone saying Lewis is faultless or, in fact, not human. I think Lewis did his job today. A job that supposedly would leave the whole team including the guys in factory and “the faulty volunteer” proud. But you still have managed to find something wrong with Lewis.

        • sorin (@) said on 13th May 2012, 2:18

          @Nick, so do you think is Hamilton fault because in 5 years he won only ONE title with Mclaren??? Mclaren won last time with Hakkinen in 1998 and 1999(such a long time)! Hamilton arrived at Mclaren, beated his team mate , Alonso, double world champion and he looses the championship because of team-mates personally battle(Mclaren fault, 100%). Next year , after TEN years(1998), Hamilton is WC with Mclaren. Raikkonen, after the Mclaren era, goes to Ferrari, and guess what: He became world champion! In my oppinion Mclaren is such a looser.They were in Hakkinen times, they were in Raikkonen times, and they are now.

    • Keith H said on 12th May 2012, 22:45

      Why is F! uncontactable via a forum? From a non-fanatic it does seem to be a pattern that each time Lewis Hamilton is involved in controversy the stewards inflict a penalty that is disproportionate to the regulations. I was at a sports centre and there was huge applause amongst strangers when Lewis Hamilton put the effort in to do the best in Q3, unlike others. In this case the fastest man by far won pole. He may have been carrying 1kg less in weight than the rules require, but to inflict a penalty of starting from the back of the grid (to start 24 is not written in the rules) is plainly wrong. Fine, put him 10th, but consider the fact that people don’t even leave the pits for Q3, THEY should start at the back of the grid for not competing and making a very boring qualifying.

      • Todfod (@todfod) said on 13th May 2012, 0:02

        I dont think your point makes any sense at all. If you are competing in quali, you need to have enough fuel to get you back to the pit lane. Under fuelling yourself is cheating… plain and simple.
        I was actually hoping for 5 different drivers to win the 1st 5 races. I was pleased to see Hamilton cross the line in pole for tomorrows race (dont be fooled by my avatar, I still respect lewis’ on track abilities)…. but as soon as he came to a halt… I felt an overwhelming sense of deja vu.
        I’ve seen the Mclaren cars pull over on the side of the track after qualifying way too often. I cannot believe the amount of times Lewis hamilton has pushed the fuel weight down by trying that annoying stunt, and it’s high time Lewis or Mclaren got punished for it.

        However, I think the penalty is a little harsh. A 10 place penalty would have been fine. The race would have been exciting with Lewis starting in 11th.

        • Gdon (@gdon) said on 13th May 2012, 8:16

          I see a lot of people saying this penalty is too harsh and a 10 place drop or removing Q3 times would have sufficed.. the problem with that in my view is that it then places him in front of another driver who obeyed the rules and got his car back into parc ferme fuel and all.
          Since none of the other drivers/cars under fuelled i do not see any other way the Mclaren/Hamilton car could have been penalised other than starting from behind all of them.

          • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 13th May 2012, 10:01

            But he only didn’t comply with regulations in setting his last, fastest, time @gdon. His earlier times put him well into Q3 and the top 10 of the grid (was it fourth or fifth, not sure, but ahead of ROS,VET etc.) who couldn’t be bothered to really do a fast lap in Q3. That part of his punishment does not make sense to me.

    • Jayfreese (@) said on 12th May 2012, 23:21

      The fastest driver in qualy should be the one to start on pole whatever the tyres or the fuel left in the car, all the more in those boring Q3.

  2. Bullfrog (@bullfrog) said on 12th May 2012, 18:48

    Happy birthday Sir Frank!

  3. Amo (@amo) said on 12th May 2012, 18:48

    Seems fair

    • moonlight (@prdsh) said on 12th May 2012, 19:00

      ***.. why is he staring on back of the grid.. he should atmost be relegated to P10 as he got in to q3..ridiculous rule this …

    • cduk_mugello (@cduk_mugello) said on 12th May 2012, 19:27

      @amo
      Got to say I agree. You’ve got to look at this in context.

      McLaren did the same thing exactly 23 months ago today, and were given a warning $10,000 fine then.

      The car was underfueled again today, and McLaren had the cheek to argue that it ‘wasn’t their fault’ by saying a team member forgot to put enough fuel in the car.

      That’s despite Martin Whitmarsh claiming several times in interviews that Hamilton didn’t stop because of fuel.

      This reminds me of lie-gate. If McLaren had held their hands up straight away, they might even have been given the benefit of the doubt (again). At the worst, Hamilton would have his fastest lap deleted. But no, McLaren have said one thing, done another, and eventually come clean. In the process, their reputation gets further trampled on.

      • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 12th May 2012, 19:39

        And the fact that they pulled this entire stunt because they knew there wouldn’t be enough fuel for a sample if he’d continued on his in-lap makes it even more ridiculous. No idea whose call that was, but they made a mistake and they’ve only succeeded in delaying the punishment and angering everyone in the process.

      • matt90 (@matt90) said on 12th May 2012, 19:51

        Hardly like lie-gate. Just because the press weren’t immediately told the reason doesn’t mean the stewards weren’t.

        • cduk_mugello (@cduk_mugello) said on 12th May 2012, 22:01

          @matt90
          Steady on fella, I only said it reminds me of lie-gate.

          I don’t expect team owners to tell the whole truth to the press all the time, but when Martin Whitmarsh said several times that a “technical error” caused Hamilton to stop the car, it doesn’t do McLaren any favours.

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 12th May 2012, 22:04

            Fair enough. Do you mean you think that not even trying for ‘force majuere’ might have earned them a less-severe punishment?

        • Faca said on 13th May 2012, 3:34

          @matt90 . The were lying just like the mclaren team lied when the spyware broke out. Everyone in that team knew about it and they claimed that nobody knew. Today all of the knew , even Hamilton knew and said what he said in the post race interview. Why they said what they said, becuase they were lying and because they knew they were cheating. So the mclaren and Hamilton team go hand in hand , and are made to each other. I don’t know but if a team like mclaren represent a whole country, I wouldn’t be proud of that since many people will think that the people of that country have the same unethical , cheating behavior and once they are caught they start blaming others, lying . Etc

        • Lee1 said on 13th May 2012, 8:33

          @Faca,

          Spygate was a totally different affair and also as far as I know even the FIA accepted that only a few people in the team knew about the spygate information. Also you seem to forget that at Renault the whole team did know about the information stolen from Maclaren and that the whole episode stemmed from discontent with Ferrari trying to get around the testing rules by designing a car to hide specific features from testers.

          As to this particular incident it seems that no-one has lied to stewards as there has been no suggestion this is the case. The fact that they covered it up to the press is irrelevant as most F1 teams do this, just look at ferrari during the Team orders incident. There is no rule against telling the press mis-information, especially as they probably wanted to fully understand the whole issue before telling the press anything. Given that the tabloid press rarely actually prints anything truthful I don’t blame them.

          Also suggesting a team represents the view of their home country is ridiculous. Do we take from that that the French all concoct elaborate cheating incidents, the Italians are all unsportsmanlike? That is an ignorant statement.

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 12th May 2012, 19:28

      Back of the grid seems too much. P10 would be fair.

    • MaroonJack (@maroonjack) said on 13th May 2012, 8:06

      No it doesn’t seem fair. It seems ridiculous. They had many options and they picked the absolute worst. The best course of action in my opinion would be to treat him as if he didn’t set the time in Q3. Sending him to the back of the grid is completely unfair. He was the fastest man on the track and everybody knows that. In Q3 his team didn’t purposely give him too little fuel, they just miscalculated. It happens, but it wasn’t a cheating, it was a honest mistake and it wasn’t the driver’s fault. The penalty is WAY too harsh.

  4. vjanik said on 12th May 2012, 18:49

    thats a bit harsh. i thought he would start 10th having qualified on merit into Q3.

    • Mike (@mike) said on 12th May 2012, 18:52

      Agreed, but I doubt if Mclaren are surprised, I’m sure the consequences were pre-determined.

      • Ben Everard (@beneverard) said on 12th May 2012, 19:07

        Merit is nothing when it comes to the rules. And they rules say he needs to provide a sample of fuel for testing, and that fuel will be given at the end of the session. Because of this no time from the entire session can be used as the rules about a sample of fuel weren’t met.

        It’s a shame all the same, but there you have it.

        • Lee1 said on 12th May 2012, 20:41

          The rule was made after Hamilton stopped his car after the canadian race. How in that case is it ok for other cars to stop after crossing the finish line but not hamilton in qualifying? As far as I know the rule applies equally to qualifying and the race yet no one has yet been punished for it until now…..

          • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 12th May 2012, 22:46

            Wrong. You didn’t read the rules article 6.6.2, despite Keith quoting it on the top of this page. It’s permitted to stop the car at the end of the race to have fuel for the sample. It’s not permitted in any other session. The punishment(wasn’t written here by Keith but very easy to find on the net) is non-negotiable as well: exclusion from that session results(session=FP1/qualy etc.-no distinction between Q1/Q2/Q3). Yeah it’s easy to post, more diffucult to know your stuff beforehand.

          • Keith H said on 12th May 2012, 22:56

            Monty, you miss the point, this is sport and the applications of the rules are not clear. There is no clarification of Q1/Q2/Q3 vs the qualifying session. Most rational people would read this as Q3 because the fuel must be available for sample at any stage at any time. So they would have to have be compliant at Q1 and Q2 because the F1A could sample at that popint. So it is a grey area, and frankly disproportionate to the infringement. Interestingly, no-one disagrees with the penalty, only the proportionality. This disportionality NEVER happens to Ferrari. I wonder why…

          • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 12th May 2012, 23:19

            The fact you’re arguing the distinction is devils advocate. Surely the best way to look at grey area rules is to assume the worst (he could be dropped from the entire session) and if it works out better (it only covered Q3) then all the better for him.

            Seems the best way to look at it when you’ve got a faceless panel awarding consistent penalties against inconsistent rules.

        • vjanik said on 13th May 2012, 11:55

          but Q3 is a separate session. you can refuel the car prior to Q3 so unless they found out that he was underweight in Q2 and Q1 as well it makes no sense to me to releagte him to the back of the grid based on breaching the rules in Q3.

          Lets say you crash heavily in Q3. the fuel leaks out and burns. would you start 10th or last?

    • Albert kkk (@bertolinu) said on 12th May 2012, 20:04

      No for Hamilton is not harsh is normal, cause the judge always exagerated on a decision that conserns hamilton. stupid rules. the fastest driver on track at the back of the grid seems funny

  5. sdtaylor91 (@sdtaylor91) said on 12th May 2012, 18:49

    How is it that one of the most professional sporting teams in the world makes so many jaw dropping blunders!? They’ve built the best car this year and they’re throwing it away in real style!

    • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 12th May 2012, 19:12

      Australia – Hamilton’s slow stop hands Vettel second.
      Malaysia – Another one of Hamilton’s slow stops, costs him the lead.
      China – Button’s slow stop costs him a potential win.
      Bahrain – Oh boy, don’t even get me started.

      Mclaren have the best car yet they are making a brutal mess out of this season. I’m absolutely loving it. :)

      • sdtaylor91 (@sdtaylor91) said on 12th May 2012, 19:51

        Also, how is it ok to do this in races (cars are always deliberately running out of fuel just after they finish) but in qualifying you get disqualified!?

        Seems incredibly inconsistent, apart from the fuel weight gain for your lap, how is pulling over in quali any different to pulling over in the race

        • alfz said on 12th May 2012, 20:46

          1 litre of fluid in the tank. In the cars tank i mean…

        • JimG (@jimg) said on 12th May 2012, 22:20

          I’d guess that the thinking is that in qualifying not only do you get the benefit of a lighter car when hundredths of a second count, but if you run out of fuel on track it could also disrupt the session, possibly spoiling someone else’s lap (like maybe your main rival’s). If you run out of fuel after the race, it’s not going to ruin anyone else’s race.

          If a team can judge how much fuel to put in to run the full race distance and have exactly one litre left in the tank when they cross the line, I’d say good luck to them!

          • Lee1 said on 13th May 2012, 8:46

            During a race, especially during the final laps, the teams can choose to run the car with different fuel mixtures so that they can get more power or better economy. Therefore a team can gain a significant advantage by running the car rich and running out after the line. However I don’t see how an advantage can be gained from Practice 1,2 and 3. So why the rule for practice but not the race?

        • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 12th May 2012, 23:22

          The rules require all cars to return to the pits under their own power with a 1litre fuel sample for the stewards after Practice Sessions or Qualifying, unless a force majeure situation (crash, clear mechanical/electrical/other technical failure) occurs.

          The Race only requires the sample, probably as there are a number of variances in a race that can mean fuel consumption is higher than anticipated, especially as there is no refuelling in the sport at the moment.

      • Karthikeyan (@ridiculous) said on 12th May 2012, 20:03

        In Australia Hamiton suffered due to the delta time for SC, not a slow pitstop

        • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 12th May 2012, 23:24

          IIRC, he was delayed in the stop as Massa pitted (McL didn’t want an unsafe release) so didn’t beat the safety car like Vettel did.

          It wasn’t anyone’s fault and releasing him at that time would likely have been a disaster/black flag/penalty situation anyway.

  6. Mike (@mike) said on 12th May 2012, 18:50

    Pity for Lewis, he set a great time. However rules are rules, and Mclaren were punished accordingly.

    Congrats to Pastor!

    • Slr (@slr) said on 12th May 2012, 19:14

      Pretty much sums it up for me.

    • Albert kkk (@bertolinu) said on 12th May 2012, 19:59

      Pole position is won by beating the time of all other rivals, Pastor didn’t make it he was half a second behind, hamilton did it, But rediculos rules and preferences puts pastor in front of the grid. thats all

      • Karthikeyan (@ridiculous) said on 12th May 2012, 20:05

        Read the rules then

        • MaroonJack (@maroonjack) said on 13th May 2012, 8:32

          I think you are missing the point, which is this: after a close examination this rule is ridiculous.

          • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 13th May 2012, 10:05

            I’d not use such strong words @maroonjack, but I do agree that the rule as it is, is a bit stupid (but I tend to dislike all changes to results when sessions are over), and the penalty chosen is too harsh as well.

      • Mercapecih said on 12th May 2012, 20:08

        I wander how much influence in the time had the low fuel load (It was either because LH consume more (more consumption = faster) or because it was not there at the beginning (less weight = faster)..I guess we will never know.

        • sid_prasher (@) said on 12th May 2012, 20:34

          Everyone puts the least amount possible so the difference couldn’t have been more than a hundredth or so.
          The rule is a bit silly – he should at best be 10th or is this at stewards discretion?

      • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 12th May 2012, 21:40

        @bertolinu “Ridiculous rules” ???? LOL

        This rule has been in the rulebook since decades, so if McLaren can’t follow it, then they shouldn’t get pole position. Williams did follow it, so they are on pole.

        I’m amaized at what you said. It’s a rule, everyone have to follow it. Those who don’t, then are penalized. As simple as ever!

        • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 13th May 2012, 10:09

          Eh, no, it is this way since Canada 2010, when HAM got pole in Canada and didn’t have enough fuel in for the mandatory sample.

          Yes, McLaren of all teams should know about it, and it seems it was a mistake, compounded by them not just keeping HAM in pits until he had enough fuel, and then later trying to dodge responsibility.

          The rule as it is still feels silly and petty to me though, as was the reason it was changed like this. Loved it when HAM was pushing his car after that pole in 2010, great tv, great entertainment and drama. So that’s what F1 forbids … (indeed, consistent with not having wheelies, flags or anything else, but sad).

      • Mike (@mike) said on 13th May 2012, 3:20

        Rules are the same for everyone, Mclaren made a mistake and broke them, Williams did not.

        • MaroonJack (@maroonjack) said on 13th May 2012, 8:58

          This rule is bad, because a mistake in a single run invalidates the whole session. The car is refueled multiple times in qualifying and one error destroys the whole team effort. It’s way over the top.

          I wonder what would happen if Hamilton decided to spin the car out of the track and stall the engine. My guess is that it would be well within the rules, right?

    • robbiepblake (@driftin) said on 13th May 2012, 4:04

      Q1 – fine
      Q2 – fine
      Q3 – broke the rules
      Delete all progress. Punished accordingly? Why didn’t they just delete the Q3 times so he starts 10th? That’s much fairer.

  7. Asif (@) said on 12th May 2012, 18:50

    I agree with the decision but the penalty wow! seems harsh. I thought they would push him to 6th or something

  8. damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 12th May 2012, 18:51

    Bad luck for Lewis, but it really makes the race more interesting in my opinion! Maldonado and Alonso on the front row with the perpetually fast-starting Lotuses behind.

    Also, will this be counted as a pole position? It’s probably the least-glorious way to take pole I can think of! Almost as good as Fisichella’s I’ve-won-no-I-haven’t-yes-I-have win in Brazil.

  9. Surya_K (@surya) said on 12th May 2012, 18:51

    What a needless way to ruin it for Lewis. He was showing excellent pace throughout quali, why the **** did Mclaren decide to risk it this way?

  10. matt90 (@matt90) said on 12th May 2012, 18:51

    Nonsense. I suppose it’s in the rules that he is given a penalty, although I don’t think losing pole is fair. Being put at the back is ridiculous. Even the BBC when talking about the consequences on their site an hour ago said he wouldn’t be further back than 6th as he’d either be relagated 5 places or lose the time from his final run.

    • Asif (@) said on 12th May 2012, 19:03

      @matt90 I agree that it was stupid. If you get stuck in Q3 and have to be towed back to pits, you dont get demoted to last. It is sort of the same thing with Lewis in this case.

      I guess stewards wanted to send a message…

    • Stefanauss (@stefanauss) said on 12th May 2012, 19:09

      The nonsense would be if he’d been sent 5,6, whatever places back. The judges ruled he didn’t have enough fuel, so he was running under weight. That’s a competitive advantage that last throughout the whole Q3, so you cannot quantify in time/grid spot. And neither you can wipe his pole time, the advantage extends to whole Q3.

      I’m sorry for Lewis, he way way the quickest today.

      • matt90 (@matt90) said on 12th May 2012, 19:49

        Not the whole of Q3 necessarily. He might not have been under-fuelled for his first run. I’m sure they’d have telemetry showing that. I think having his pole run or his entire session excluded would have been cruel but fair. This seems over-the-top.

        • Stefanauss (@stefanauss) said on 12th May 2012, 20:06

          No way. The ratio behind the fuel rules are that in any moment of the event FIA can take a relevant sample of fuel from the car (they say this amounts to 1 litre) to analyse for compliance, it’s not just for weight sake.
          Given that the object of compliance analysis (fuel chemical composition) also affects weight, the lets-give-telemetry-a-look begins a vicious circle.
          Also, the telemetry shows “fuel level”, and in no way that is a proof of compliance.

          • JerseyF1 (@jerseyf1) said on 12th May 2012, 22:09

            This debate makes no sense. He made it back to the pits after his first fuel run so there is no reason to suggest he was under-fuelled on that run.

            I agree that the penalty is harsh and that being given p10 or deleting his final lap time might have been sufficient. But as far as I recall it’s the first time since they introduced the rule (after the first time Hamilton did this) that they’ve applied this penalty so I guess this will be the case-law precedent and they’ve decided to make the penalty sufficiently harsh.

            McLaren were perfectly aware of the rule. My guess is that there was a c*ck up rather than a plan by McLaren to run lighter than others. But it seems unlikely that McLaren only realised their mistake at the point at which Hamilton switched off his engine. Chances are that they knew before he passed the pits for the last time that they weren’t going to make it round and decided to go ahead with the pole lap regardless and therefore after the initial error their was an infringement of the rules which could have been avoided.

          • Stefanauss (@stefanauss) said on 13th May 2012, 0:14

            This debate makes no sense. He made it back to the pits after his first fuel run so there is no reason to suggest he was under-fuelled on that run.

            You can return to the pits and still being under-fuelled.
            I don’t think He was. But I think that’s what makes the penalty for such infringment session-wise and not laptime-wise. The fuel level in Q1 and Q2 are checked at random. Unlike the other situations where the single lap time affected gets wiped (impeding, cutting a corner, etc.), fuel level CAN NOT be checked for every single run. They have to strongly discourage such a bet in Q1 and Q2, where they actually could get away with it. And simply wiping that lap time from the chart does not even guarantee that the infringer position or ability to qualify for the next stage of QLF is affected.

            In my opinion making the penalty session-wise and being excluded for QLF is the only possible penalty in such a case.

            Even more after CAN 2010.

    • Eggry (@eggry) said on 12th May 2012, 19:11

      Overkill.

    • dam00r (@dam00r) said on 12th May 2012, 19:13

      Last year Vettel did this 2-3 times if I remember correctly. Why wasn’t he penalized?

      • melkurion (@melkurion) said on 12th May 2012, 19:29

        after the race yes, not after quali, two different things

        • Lee1 said on 12th May 2012, 22:17

          Why is it a different thing? The rule states that it is a requirement over the course of the event not just qualifying! Therefore why have drivers not been punished for stopping after the race?

          • Oh my God. The rule about returning to the pits under your car’s own power refers only to PRACTICE sessions. Qualifying is a practice session. The race is not a practice session. Yes, you still need to have a liter of fuel available, but at the end of the RACE you can stop to make sure you preserve it.

      • David-A (@david-a) said on 12th May 2012, 19:30

        I don’t believe Seb ran out of fuel after taking pole. He drove to the pitlane all 15 times. It was Lewis that last stopped on track at Canada in 2010.

    • infy (@infy) said on 12th May 2012, 20:45

      I believe if you lie to the stewards or are rude or unreasonable they have the right to issue a harsher penalty. This is a precedent that I am sure will send a strong word of notice to anyone else who wants to risk cheating like Mclaren have done today.

      • matt90 (@matt90) said on 12th May 2012, 21:09

        @infy Where is the evidence any lying or rudeness occurred? And McLaren didn’t cheat, they made an error.

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 12th May 2012, 21:19

        @infy The stewards didn’t see the team lied or were rude or anything like that.

        • Funkyf1 (@funkyf1) said on 13th May 2012, 1:07

          @Keith and @matt90 I believe Mclaren told the media that Lewis stopping on track was not fuel related. That has been interpreted as a lie, considering they knew exactly why they told him to stop. The stewards take all things into consideration. While voicing my opinion, I must mention that the penalty is harsh, but that’s what you get for cheating.

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 13th May 2012, 1:11

            I doubt the stewards take into consideration how a team conducts themselves with the press.

      • Lee1 said on 12th May 2012, 22:19

        So how do you explain that other drivers have not been punished for similar “cheating” (ie Vettel after bahrain for one)

  11. JRB said on 12th May 2012, 18:51

    Oops…

  12. Daniel Thomas (@iamdanthomas) said on 12th May 2012, 18:51

    Worst thing about this is that Lewis will take it personally, and has rarely shown the strength of character to be able to get on with his job.

    This will be on his mind for the rest of season, I just hope he can turn it into a positive, motivating force, rather than a negative, bitter one.

    • David BR2 said on 12th May 2012, 19:05

      This makes me really angry. Hamilton tries at least to put a show on for the losers who are FIA. He actually tries to set a time in Q3. If you sit in your garage after getting to Q3, that’s fine. At least you get 10th place (or higher if others follow suit). But if you GIVE THE SPECTATORS A SHOW, you know, by actually COMPETING, driving on the track and other such extravagant things, you evidently risk getting a ridiculous penalty like this, sent to the back of the grid! They should have at least allowed his first run time to count. Absurd.

      • David BR2 said on 12th May 2012, 19:07

        Sorry Daniel, by the way, wasn’t meant to be a reply to you.

      • Stefanauss (@stefanauss) said on 12th May 2012, 19:17

        I agree that’s a shame and totally not Lewis fault. But the drivers not running in Q3 It’s a completely different issue and that is no merit in “trying to set a time”. If Lewis would find himself in the situation where not running in Q3 gives him an advantage, He would not run. Like everyone else does under these rules.

        • David BR (@david-br) said on 12th May 2012, 19:36

          No merit in setting a time? Okay, how about next qualifying everyone stays in the pits because it’s a better bet for the race? Preserving tyres and all that exciting stuff. Picture it. Around the world, all the fans who still bother to tune into Formula 1 waiting for the Q3 show down – and nobody does anything. My point was that FIA coming down so heavily on Hamilton is detrimental to the sport. It’s got to the stage where being faster and getting into Q3 is verging on a liability. And now it’s safer – in terms of penalties – for a driver to sit in a garage and do nothing rather than compete.

          The McLaren team are destroying their chances this year despite the strength of their drivers, but FIA is also making the sport look slightly ridiculous now with the qualifying rules. Bad all round. Apart from Hamilton who had the gall to drive the fastest today.

          • Stefanauss (@stefanauss) said on 12th May 2012, 19:46

            You’re talking nonsense. The way QLF is shaped, EVERYONE who feels like an advantage to stay in the pits, DOES so. Hamilton INCLUDED.
            So everyone plays by THAT rule. McLaren didn’t play by A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT rule, which is basically “do not run underweight”, and got punished with the ONLY POSSIBLE logical penalty.

            If you don’t like driver who sits in the pitlane and want to discuss about it, at least wait for the topic to be relevant.

          • David BR (@david-br) said on 12th May 2012, 20:18

            No, I’m not talking nonsense, I’m making a valid point about the fact that you can sit in a garage burning no fuel and finish higher than someone who drives in Q3, sets a time, and supposedly hasn’t enough fuel left. Where’s the logic to these rules??

            I don’t dislike the drivers who sit in the pitlanes, I dislike the stupid rules that almost make reaching Q3 a liability now. And I don’t disagree with the punishment. I disagree with it being so excessive in relation to the driver (they can punish McLaren as much as they like as far as I’m concerned). It’s adding insult to injury to penalize Hamilton so excessively when Formula 1 NEEDS the excitement of drivers competing, not sat around in the pits playing safe. following your logic, maybe everyone should just sit around during Q3. You can bet if they did, the rules would soon change. But while some drivers still want to try to set a time, compromisng their race chances perhaps in the process, the farcical rules will continue. What bit don’t you get?

          • Stefanauss (@stefanauss) said on 12th May 2012, 23:54

            Where’s the logic to these rules??

            There can’t be one, because you are comparing completely different rules for no other purpose than saying how much You dislike one of them.

            What bit don’t you get?

            The bit when the fact that Hamilton “tried to set a time”
            1. make less/more “illogical” the penalty
            2. is more/less in the spirit of the sport.
            3. is a merit for Hamilton.

            My point was that FIA coming down so heavily on Hamilton is detrimental to the sport.

            The FIA “coming down so hard on Hamilton” has NOTHING to do with the fact the “he tried to set a time/tried to be faster/didn’t stand in the pits/gave F1 what its fans need/whatever”.
            You added those bits for no reason, mixing things up for the sake of…

            not sat around in the pits playing safe.

            They’re are NOT playing it safe. Ask Webber.
            They make a choice, in trying to get an advantage, in a situation the rules create/allow. It’s not always the right choice.

            following your logic, maybe everyone should just sit around during Q3

            No one ever did, why? Because that way It’s not an advantage. Somebody WILL go out, and then next, and the next.

            I disagree with it being so excessive in relation to the driver (they can punish McLaren as much as they like as far as I’m concerned).

            Drivers get punished for team errors because they’re part of the team, too. See all the “unsafe release” penalties.

        • Palle (@palle) said on 12th May 2012, 20:01

          I agree that the punishment is way too harsh, but it has absolutely nothing to do with the drivers who didn’t run a timed lap in that session. That is a whole other discussion, which should be solved by improving the Q3 drivers tyre rack in such a way that they feel free to actually race for the Pole. Otherwise qualifying will become so boring I don’t want to waste my time watching it.

      • caci99 (@caci99) said on 12th May 2012, 19:48

        Totally agree. What’s more, this guys are comfortably making forward in the grid. So much for the show.

        • Bobby (@f1bobby) said on 12th May 2012, 21:09

          David BR – couldn’t agree more. Very well put.

          I’m annoyed with McLaren for habitually making basic mistakes that are costing their drivers and the team so dearly but I am also flabbergasted by the FIA/stewards willingness to rob the sport of its glory.

          We all know who was the fastest man around Circuit de Catalunya today but some faceless pen-pushers say otherwise leaving us fans to suck it up.

          Shame on them.

          • brum55 said on 12th May 2012, 21:42

            They under fuelled the car thus broke the rules. Had they not been punished then that would be far more damaging for the sport. In doing this they are sending a clear deterrent to any team who wants to gain a competitive advantage by breaking the rules. Being demoted to the back was beyond what I expected but maybe it was for McLaren trying to claim it was for reasons for force majeur and not coming clean immediately.

            I do feel for Hamilton as he has had an error free season and is starting to get the better of Button once more but seems to have luck Kimi used to when he was at McLaren.

          • Lee1 said on 12th May 2012, 22:25

            @brum55,

            I agree that if the rule is broken then a punishment should be given, however many other drivers including Alonso and Vettel have broken this rule over the last few seasons (Vettels was the last race!) yet none have been punished. Why?

      • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 12th May 2012, 21:52

        I’m amaized to what I’m seeing here!

        Even if the advantage was a small one, it still doesn’t comply with the rules. So what’s wrong with him being penalized afterall? It’s McLaren’s fault they didn’t put enough fuel in the car, not the FIA, Williams or whatever. It’s THEIR fault, and they messed it up.

        People as for harsh rules when it comes to aggression on track or whatever, which are subjective to interpretation. But if a front wing is just a bit too wide, then it doesn’t comply with the rules and needs penalization. If you stop on track becuase you don’t have enough fuel, you don’t comply with the rules, and you are given a penalization.

        And that’s it! Say whatever you want about FIA and how they handle certain situations incorrectly, but the fact of the matter is that Lewis’ car didn’t have enough fuel in its tank. And it’s their fault for not doing it right… Had he had enough fuel, he’d have made it to the pole anyway and they would not be in this situation!

        • Lee1 said on 12th May 2012, 22:23

          I think the issue is that no one is arguing that if you break the rules you should not be punished. What is baffling is that this is not the first time (even this season) that this rule has been broken, however it is the first time the rule has been enforced. If the rule is there then apply it to all equally, not just one driver.

          • brum55 said on 13th May 2012, 8:06

            The incidents you mentioned were after races not qualifying.

          • Lee1 said on 13th May 2012, 8:54

            @brum55,

            I know realise that the rule applies only to practice. However now the question is why? Surely there is more to gain by running out after the race than there is in FP1, FP2 And FP3?

            Also what on earth would be the punishment for running out during FP1,2 or 3?

          • Simanos said on 18th May 2012, 15:09

            “Also what on earth would be the punishment for running out during FP1,2 or 3?”
            Your times from Practice session are disqualified so… um NOTHING.
            This rule is a joke and the stewards(and FIA) are a joke too. Use some common sense next time when you write rules and some more when you apply them.

  13. Calum (@calum) said on 12th May 2012, 18:52

    Was expecting a 5 place.
    Get it sorted Mclaren, mistake after mistake. Fastest car won’t win race again because of the team’s errors.

  14. Eggry (@eggry) said on 12th May 2012, 18:53

    Mclaren ruins Hamilton’s races a lot this season…this shouldn’t have happened.
    Anyway, Congrats for Maldonado and great chance for Alonso.

    • MJ4 said on 12th May 2012, 19:13

      Maldonado, Alonso, Perez … three Spanish-speakers in the top 5 for the Spanish GP. Somehow PDR should have got there, too :-)

      • Eggry (@eggry) said on 12th May 2012, 19:15

        Nice stats!

      • Daler said on 12th May 2012, 21:50

        PDR would have qualified in the top 10 only if he had missiles installed on his turkey in order to destroy all of the other cars. All except his cucumber teammate, that is.

      • Mariano (@mariano) said on 13th May 2012, 3:19

        Your comment seems a little bit racist. Although Maldonado, Alonso and Perez are Spanish-speakers, they come from different cultures that have very little in common and cannot be compared. Maybe your comment was made merely as a joke but for me as a Spanish-speaker it made me feel uncomfortable.

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 13th May 2012, 9:23

          @mariano All he said was that they speak the same language – don’t over-react.

          • Mariano (@mariano) said on 13th May 2012, 12:55

            You are right Keith. I have already apologized for my inappropriate reply to the gentleman’s comment. Sorry for my incorrect attitude.

        • MJ4 said on 13th May 2012, 9:45

          Sorry, but I can’t see the racist aspect of a stat that seems interesting without meaning in any way to compare cultures etc. It’s just something they have in common, no need to see anything deeper into it.

          Were Kubica and Petrov to start a race (next year, perhaps :-)) from 1st and 2nd, would it be some politically motivated cheap shot to say that the former Eastern bloc occupies the front row?

          Would people really be aggravated after a Webber – Massa – Senna finish if someone suggested that the southern hemisphere took the podium?

          At the end of the day, every F1 driver statistic is based on taking one aspect of a complex person for comparison. Does that automatically degrade that person?

          • Mariano (@mariano) said on 13th May 2012, 12:51

            Reading again your comment I do realize that I misunderstood it and on doing so I overreacted. I truly apologize for my inappropriate reply.

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