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.”

See the updated Spanish Grand Prix grid.

2012 Spanish Grand Prix

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578 comments on Hamilton penalty hands Maldonado first pole position

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  1. SPIDERman (@spiderman) said on 12th May 2012, 19:46

    the team should have been punished financially and the driver allowed to keep his position or worse still 10th place… but being thrown at the back is the same as being not allowed to race.
    but off course Mclaren and FIA stewards are not the best of friends..
    iam praying for a pile up and rain… that will be only Hamilton chance of points finish

  2. Snafu (@snafu) said on 12th May 2012, 19:46

    is this decision open for appealing before start??
    I was wondering maybe he can get 10th after a possible appeal from Mclaren…

  3. Ribf1 (@) said on 12th May 2012, 19:47

    The rules are well written.

  4. bdl77 (@bdl77) said on 12th May 2012, 19:51

    Another clanger from McLaren. For one of the most professional and long serving entrants in F1 they certainly know how to drop one. Big fan but this is ridiculous. Out of interest what was the reason behind Lewis stopping on the slow down lap after quali in Canada last year? Was that not fuel related and no punishment was given?

  5. F1 Observer (@f1-observer) said on 12th May 2012, 19:57

    Does it explicitly state in the rules that if a driver fails to return to the pits due to lack of fuel he shall be relegated to the back of the grid? It seems a bit harsh to me. I agree with those who say he should drop back to 10th place, i.e. his Q3 times should be invalidated, not anything prior to that. If, however, this penalty has been given due McLaren trying to cover up the fact he ran out if fuel, then it’s not a question of him being relegated to the back of the grid; he shouldn’t be starting full stop. Not that it’s Lewis’ fault.

  6. DT (@dt) said on 12th May 2012, 19:57

    Mclaren has done it again. How many times are they going to screw their drivers up under Whitmarsh management? Whitmarsh needs to go full stop!!!

    The guy can’t get anything right for the team.. they can put on a tyre and neither can they fuel a car up properly.. complete joke…….

    Angry is an understatement of how i feel now!!

  7. OEL F1 (@oel-f1) said on 12th May 2012, 20:00

    For the first time ever, I’m actually feeling sorry for Lewis Hamilton.

  8. Nigel Randtoul (@mclarenati) said on 12th May 2012, 20:00

    All things considered – when you push the envelope mistakes happen, intentional ? of course not, but Martin W’s face spoke a thousand words when he stepped off th epit wall, at that moment I thought pole was gone.
    Who carries the can ? Martin does, he is the Boss, just like I carry the can for my team when they make mistakes. Win together loose together.
    Penalty – totally over the top, excluded from Q3 yes, the whole session no way.
    Surprised ? No, stewards rulings against McLaren and Lewis are always more than others get.
    Will Lewis stay ? Who knows, these errors do mount up, but do you throw the baby out with the bathwater ?
    Personally – Although I am McLaren through and through, I would rather Lewis won titles with another team, than didn’t win more with us.

  9. Aleksandr Nausedas (@) said on 12th May 2012, 20:02

    Just a quick question, if Hamilton is DSQ from P1, P2, P3 doesn’t that mean that he hasn’t set any time, which would imply having failed to achieve 107% rule? In other words, wouldn’t be eligible to race? Thanks for explanations guys.

    On the other hand as I am Maclaren fan, it is just wrong for the team to still have this kind of driver and make continuous mistake one grand prix after another. It is sad, but it seems Ill have to wait for at least a total of 15 years until Mclaren win constructors :( as I do not car for drivers that much. Tho, would love it to be from Mclaren, but from what I’ve seen yet – slim chances, almost none. Also for the guys that are seeing exciting race tomorrow: It would have been if Ham was starting in pole considering that his team would as usual this year make pit-stop errors both racing drivers. Unfortunately, but now I do not believe that Mclaren will score any points tomorrow as well as I am not sure whether they deserved it in this grand prix at all. Sad. Hope Ham is able to overcome this and show tomorrow how good he really is! Best of luck for Him! Finally, he should really start questioning his team if he wants to win more WC’s as Maclaren atm does seem as to be in silent-death mode :(..

  10. sketchyterry (@sketchyterry) said on 12th May 2012, 20:03

    Wait, wait, wait. If Karthikeyan is rewarded with being able to qualify despite breaking (sorta) the 107% rule but Hamilton breaks a rule how can the statement, “rules are rules” be applied. Also its been said before but what about Vettel and Massa not finishing the last race because of fuel, no punishment but surely thats breaks the rules?!

  11. doogie100 (@doogie100) said on 12th May 2012, 20:06

    The ******** never ends with this bunch. I have my theory of whats going on here. Lewis will never win another WC with Mclaren. This smells exactly like it sounds!

  12. petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 12th May 2012, 20:06

    If I was Hamilton, I’d be off to Nascar or Indycar so fast the FIA wouldn’t even realise what had happened.

    It’d be the best for both parties. I can guarantee the FIA would be happy to see him leave and he’d be able to race without getting screwed every time he does something special.

  13. Would the stewards have come to the same conclusion and punishment had the driver been Alonso for example. Had it been Hamilton swerving dangerously across the track like Roseberg I am sure he would have received a penalty. I am absolutely tired of the stewards and some fans. I cant help but feel that there are certain things about Hamilton that people unfortunately do not like and this leads to unfair judgements taken against him. Makes me sick

  14. Snafu (@snafu) said on 12th May 2012, 20:11

    to all those who say Lewis won’t win with Mclaren anymore and that he should leave…remember we were all criticizing Maldonado last year! but look at him now!
    don’t jump to conclusions just because of one mistake! yes I know Mclaren has made 5 mistakes in 5 races so far, but there are 15 more races to go!

  15. SPIDERman (@spiderman) said on 12th May 2012, 20:12

    100 million ferarigate fine recent past …Mclaren are the FIA stewards whipping boys..
    why cant Hamilton appeal this harsh ruling…?even murder convictions get a chance to appeal and be heard

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