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

  1. Brownerboy (@brownerboy) said on 12th May 2012, 18:53

    No point him even bothering to start

  2. f1alex (@f1alex) said on 12th May 2012, 18:53

    Wow… Who would’ve predicted the grid to be Maldonado 1st, Alonso 2nd and Grosjean 3rd?

    You’ve gotta feel sorry for Lewis but rules are rules…

  3. Troy said on 12th May 2012, 18:54

    Unbelieveable work Mclaren. Lewis should look to find another team after their latest mess. It’s just begs the question why are other teams not disqualified for stopping on the track.

    • f1alex (@f1alex) said on 12th May 2012, 18:58

      Because none did it at the end of qualifying, which is what the rule applies to.

      • Lee1 said on 12th May 2012, 23:19

        Article 6.6.2 of the technical regulations: “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.”

        —————————-

        Where in there does it mention qualifying only?

  4. Mikeycool said on 12th May 2012, 18:54

    Absolute joke.

  5. trebor27 (@trebor27) said on 12th May 2012, 18:56

    I suppose he can start from the pit lane now. Meaning he can set a car up for a wet race if it turns out that way.

    • Nick.UK (@) said on 12th May 2012, 20:23

      @trebor27 Clearly though, there was absolutley nothing wrong with his set up. No point in making changes to a car that can lap almost 0.6 faster than the rest of the grid.

  6. Ciaran (@ciaran) said on 12th May 2012, 18:58

    I saw it coming, but that’s a bit over-doing it, no? I know he gained an advantage, but throwing him to the back of the grid seems so unfair.
    Oh well, at least we’ll see Maldonado on pole – that wil be very fun indeed.

  7. Bleeps_and_Tweaks (@bleeps_and_tweaks) said on 12th May 2012, 18:58

    This is totally over the top. It’s ridiculous that he has been excluded from the grid altogether, what about his other lap in Q3, or all of the laps in the other sessions?
    Oh wait…wasn’t there a Ferrari in 3rd? What a surprise.

    • Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 12th May 2012, 19:59

      Here we go with the unsubstantiated claims from conspirators. Take off the tin-foil hat. McLaren broke the rules, they got punished. Simple as.

      • bag0 (@bag0) said on 12th May 2012, 20:47

        @colossal-squid Ok, they breached the rules, but this is a total overkill, if he gained an advantage with less fuel, he did it in his final lap, but not before, so count his first q3 lap, or q2 lap, but this…

        • Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 12th May 2012, 23:51

          It’s the first time there’s been a penalty for breaking a rule such as this. I agree completely, it seems a bit much to be demoted to last on the grid, I would have considered a 5-place penalty as the more even handed option.

          However it is ridiculous to suggest that Hamilton was demoted so as to favour Alonso, as @bleeps_and_tweaks inferred.

          • rantingmrp (@rantingmrp) said on 13th May 2012, 8:17

            What will really be priceless is when someone else breaks the same rule and the stewards, taking into account the unpopularity of their punishment against LH, give that second transgressor a lesser penalty.

      • Bleeps_and_Tweaks (@bleeps_and_tweaks) said on 13th May 2012, 11:56

        @colossal-squid You’re right of course, their haven’t been any instances in the past that Ferrari have benefited from borderline decisions by the FIA…wait, how’s your F1 history, that can’t be right?!

        As Keith has stated in a comment article this morning on the site, the penalty is totally OTT. Only a Hamilton/Mclaren hater wouldn’t think that. Any true F1 fan who wants the best drivers fighting it out at the front would want Hamilton to receive a proportionate penalty, rather than this draconian one.

        • Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 14th May 2012, 19:38

          @Bleeps_and_Tweaks Well let me know when you can conclusively prove that the FIA are corrupt, and favour Ferrari.
          You suggested in your first comment that Alonso being 3rd on the grid had any bearing on the penalty imposed on Hamilton, I am merely pointing out how ludicrous that statement is.

          As for your second point I may not personally like Hamilton but as you can see in one of my comments under yours, I completely agree that it was an incredibly harsh penalty.

  8. kilrcola (@adelaidef1fan) said on 12th May 2012, 19:01

    Can’t say much more than I guess the team deserve it..

    EVERY OTHER TEAM CAN CONFORM..

    They are clearly making an example of him.

    I respect his driving skills, but do not like his arrogance.

    • Ryne (@ryne) said on 12th May 2012, 19:06

      How is his team low-fuelling him a sign of Hamilton’s arrogance?

    • James (@goodyear92) said on 12th May 2012, 19:09

      He’s not arrogant. He congratulated both Pastor and Alonso on their brilliant qualifying efforts and called them both brilliant drivers who would push him hard in the race. He got no congratulations back from them. He has also been very patient with the team’s constant mistakes.

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

        I agree James.
        Lewis has had his moments in the past but he’s really competitive and he’s doing much better. As my father used to say, show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser.

        Lewis has talent and expects the best from himself and his team. So do many other drivers, but Lewis seems to get held to a higher standard. Why???

        • James (@goodyear92) said on 12th May 2012, 19:49

          Exactly. I’m so sick of this argument from his haters. All F1 drivers have a degree of arrogance, because it’s a required trait. You have to believe you are the best there. I dislike Vettel, but he’s not a bad guy and he’s extremely talented, I just haven’t taken to him. I never insult any other driver, mainly because I like pretty much all of them, but Lewis haters always seem to.

          • bearforce1 (@bearforce1) said on 13th May 2012, 2:24

            You are quick to throw out the hater tag. Show me a hater comment on here. Craze you forgot the other catch cry anti hamilton.

  9. Mallesh Magdum (@malleshmagdum) said on 12th May 2012, 19:02

    Now McLaren have learnt how to
    put tyres on properly they’ve
    forgotten how to put fuel in the
    car.

  10. Karthikeyan (@ridiculous) said on 12th May 2012, 19:02

    Seems McLaren thought 2010 Canada was such a long time ago, mistake. And that too second offense. Feel sad for Lewis, then again rules are rules

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

      Only in Canada there was no rule to break, just a memo to tell them that they should get back to the pits in a particular time limit. The memo was not an official rule, the rule only came in as a result of that incident. Also as far as I know the rule applies to the whole event not just Qualifying so why has no one else been punished yet?

  11. schooner (@schooner) said on 12th May 2012, 19:02

    Hamilton’s crew let him down yet Again!

  12. Ribf1 (@) said on 12th May 2012, 19:03

    Mclaren handed Frank williams a birthday gift. Maldonado now on pole.When will Mclaren learn from mistakes?

  13. djdaveyp85 (@djdaveyp87) said on 12th May 2012, 19:04

    Stewards are racist. Its the only explanation for such repeatedly harsh punishment.

    I could understand a relegation to 10th which I feel would still be harsh. But the back of the grid?!?

    His car was legal in Q1 & Q2. Disgraceful decision.

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

      Stewards are racist. Its the only explanation for such repeatedly harsh punishment.

      http://i4.ytimg.com/vi/OGAu_DeKckI/hqdefault.jpg (Sorry!)

    • Slr (@slr) said on 12th May 2012, 19:22

      His car was legal in Q1 & Q2.

      Cars which make it to Q3 are checked after Q3. The cars don’t get checked inbetween each qualifying session, unless they go out in Q1 or Q2. Besides, an illegal car part or whatever isn’t the issue here. Hamilton stopped on track and McLaren did not have an acceptable reason.

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

      His car was legal in Q1 & Q2.

      I’d love to see the “My behaviour was legal from age 0 to 17″ in courts everywhere.

      • djdaveyp85 (@djdaveyp87) said on 12th May 2012, 19:31

        Well yeah, since you wouldn’t be punished for anything you did between 0-17. Judges do base their decision on your history. What’s your point?

        • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 12th May 2012, 19:44

          @djdaveyp87 I think @stefanauss‘ point is that McLaren didn’t breach the rules in Q1 & Q2, but they did however breach the rules in Q3, which they’ve been punished for.

          So — to extend the analogy we’re using — if you committed a crime at age 40, telling the judge you were a good kid isn’t going to get you far.

          • Stefanauss (@stefanauss) said on 12th May 2012, 19:52

            @damonsmedley exactly. F1 rules clearly states that an F1 car must comply to the rules at all times during the event. And definitely Q3 is within “the event”.

          • Lee1 said on 12th May 2012, 23:24

            @Stefanauss,

            Would you say the race was also part of the event? Would you say if that is the case then Vettel should have been punished for stopping in Bahrain?

          • Stefanauss (@stefanauss) said on 13th May 2012, 1:34

            Lee1,
            yes, the race is part of the event.
            No, that’s not the case with Vettel. Cars must go back to the pit on their own power in practice and qualifying, the rules don’t include the race, where a car that doesn’t make it to the parc ferme is brought back by the marshalls.
            The only relevant part of the fuel rules for the race are the 1lt sample minimum.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 12th May 2012, 21:24

      @djdaveyp87 The stewards may have over-reacted, you certainly have.

      • djdaveyp85 (@djdaveyp87) said on 13th May 2012, 5:35

        @keithcollantine In hindsight, I certainly did over react. But seriously… when will these disproportionate penalties stop and what will it take to stop them. They are ruining my enjoyment of F1. Lewis deserves alot of the penalties he receives but so many of them have been completely over the top and inconsistant. He has had penalties for things other people have got away with and always seems to get the blame for racing incidents as well as always receiving the sharp end of the stick. If I was him, I would feel suicidal!

        • rantingmrp (@rantingmrp) said on 13th May 2012, 8:26

          It will always be a what-if with these situations. What if it was Lewis and not Rosberg that was defending against Alonso the other day?
          What disappointed was that the Stewards chose to use their discretion in this and any other incidents, which is a shame because it does open up the decision-making to subjectivity. If they had chosen to enforce the rules as they are, full-stop, regardless of the situation, F1 would certainly look fairer.
          But here we are: it’s another race weekend, and we are debating another Hamilton punishment by the Stewards. Someone suggested Hamilton needs to take a sabbatical a la Raikonnen – perhaps try WRC or Indy Car or something, if only so the Stewards can forget what it feels like to throw the book at him.
          And why does Whitmarsh still have a job??

  14. callum (@095cal) said on 12th May 2012, 19:05

    Does this mean that Hamilton’s car didn’t have a problem, it really did just run out of fuel?

  15. Tom Haxley (@welshtom) said on 12th May 2012, 19:05

    He has been “excluded” from qualifying – does that mean he gets all his tyres back as new ones – i suspect not ;)

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