Pastor Maldonado, Williams, Barcelona, Spain, 2012

Hamilton penalty hands Maldonado first pole position

2012 Spanish Grand Prix

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Pastor 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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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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578 comments on “Hamilton penalty hands Maldonado first pole position”

  1. McLaren will lose him soon!

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

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

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

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

          2. kowalsky is back
            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.

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

          1. 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.

          2. @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.

          3. 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:

            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.

          4. @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

          5. @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.

        3. 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…. :)

          1. 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.”

        4. 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

      2. 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 …

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

        2. 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.

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

          2. 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?

        3. Ian (@valkyrassassin)
          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.

          1. Might have helped if he had been Spanish.

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

          3. cos_im_black
            13th May 2012, 2:45

            Maybe its because he’s black…

          4. he had been Spanish,

            he’s black…

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

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

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

        5. 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.

        6. 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.

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

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

        1. 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?

          1. 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.

    3. 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.

      1. One constructors’ championship in 20 years … that’s the best way of putting it.

      2. 1998. Ferrari won the Constructors in 1999 title.

    4. 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.

    5. Andy Redden (@andyredden-on-f1)
      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.

      1. spot on, i’m tired of M. Witmarsh’s ********…. I’m so angry.. and I’m from Venezuela by the way. Maldonado`s pole means so little to me

        1. Sad that a countryman on pole is not a cause for celebration by Venezuelans ! I am delighted for him and for Williams

        2. Jay (@martinwhitmarshhasdowns241)
          13th May 2012, 2:51

          He needs to be fired, or given a different role, also what the hell has Sam Michael done since he joined the team? if anything the mistakes have occurred more often with him in the team now…

          1. …and the team Sam Michael left is going a lot better

      2. Lewis call Mclaren out? HA!

        If Lewis doesn’t support Mclaren now, why should they support him when he makes mistakes?

    6. Stormbringer
      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…

      1. 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.

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

          1. 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

          2. 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….

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

        2. Stormbringer
          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?

          1. 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?

          2. Stormbringer
            12th May 2012, 21:10

            ‘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…

          3. @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?

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

          5. @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.

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

          7. @jleigh I think you have it right.

          8. 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?

      2. 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.

        1. @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.

          1. @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.

          2. 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

          3. @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.

          4. @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.

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

    7. 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

      1. 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.

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

      3. 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.

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

      1. 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!

        1. That isn’t why they did it in 2010.

      2. @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.

        1. 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 ^^

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

          2. @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?

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

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

        1. No more than Mclaren’s fans…

    9. 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.

      1. @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!

        1. 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.

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

          1. 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.

        3. @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.

        4. @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.

    10. 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.

      1. 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.

        1. 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.

          1. 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.

    11. Jayfreese (@)
      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. Happy birthday Sir Frank!

    1. for sure good present if not great.

  3. Seems fair

    1. ***.. 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 …

      1. not sure if this has been answered, but does Lewis get 6 new sets of tires for the race?

        1. No – I can’t see why anyone would think he might get a bunch of new tyres as a reward for breaking a rule.

    2. @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.

      1. 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.

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

        1. @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.

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

        2. @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

        3. @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.

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

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

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

      1. 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.

        1. 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…..

          1. 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.

          2. 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…

          3. 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.

        2. 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?

    2. 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. 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!

    1. 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. :)

      1. 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

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

        2. 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!

          1. 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?

        3. 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.

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

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

    Congrats to Pastor!

    1. Pretty much sums it up for me.

    2. 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

      1. Read the rules then

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

          1. 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.

      2. 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.

        1. sid_prasher (@)
          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?

      3. @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!

        1. 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).

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

        1. 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?

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

    1. The penalty does seem unduly harsh. I wonder if there is a factor we haven’t been told about yet. Maybe the stewards felt McLaren hadn’t been entirely honest with them. We’ve seen that from the team before.

      1. Check out this tweet from Ben Hunt. Gives full FIA statement.

          1. Hmm…he uses iPhone 4 for sure :D

          2. Hold up. If that’s the actual statement then that says he’s been kicked to the back of the grid for stopping on the inlap, not because of the fuel amount. In that case it’s an even more mental thing for McLaren to compound one mistake by making and entirely seperate mistake in making Hamilton stop the car. Might as well have finished the lap and saved Lewis the walk!

          3. @hey Assuming he would’ve made it back, he would’ve still been punished for the insufficient amount of fuel in the tank (which is a different article). As it stood, the car stopping early made sure there was enough fuel for a sample.

  8. 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.

    1. Will they redo the “first three in qualifying” photo before the start of the next race weekend? :-D

    2. @damonsmedley – Yep, it counts as Pastor’s first pole. I remember Kimi setting the best qualifying lap at Monza 2005, but due to a penalty, Montoya got it instead.

      1. Interesting. But we now must turn our attention to what this means for the predictions championship…

        1. It means that nobody guessed the pole-sitter presumably.

        2. @damonsmedley this happened in China, basically Pastor will be awarded the pole, and anyone (I doubt anyone did) who selected him, will receive the points

          1. Haha, I did!
            Now watch as I tank the race predictions!

        3. @damonsmedley The Predictions Champions rules refer to the “pole sitter”, which is Pastor Maldonado. See:

  9. 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. 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.

    1. @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…

    2. 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.

      1. 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.

        1. 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.

          1. 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.

          2. 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.

    3. Overkill.

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

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

        1. 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?

          1. 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.

      2. 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.

    5. 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.

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

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

        1. @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.

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

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

  11. 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.

    1. 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.

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

      2. 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.

        1. 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.

          1. 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.

          2. 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?

          3. 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.

        2. 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.

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

        1. 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.

          1. 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.

          2. @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?

      4. 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!

        1. 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.

          1. The incidents you mentioned were after races not qualifying.

          2. @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?

          3. “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.

  12. 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.

    1. Come back Ron!

      1. +1

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

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

      1. Nice stats!

      2. 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.

      3. 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.

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

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

        2. 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?

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

  14. No point him even bothering to start

    1. Are you kidding? It will be great to see Hamilton come through the field tomorrow.

      1. I wish Slr…Hamilton very rarely uses situations like this to his advantage. Sadly he is likely to go bansai and damage his car. Fingers crossed he can get some points at least, but I suspect this’ll be a DNF.

        It’s a shame because I really wanted him and McLaren to bounce back properly this year. Instead of spending half the season fixing their car, they’ll spend half the season trying to sort their ‘operational’ problems, by which time Red Bull will have sorted their car and Seb will take another title.

        1. Benzine Kopf
          12th May 2012, 20:26

          As much as I would love to see Ham make his way through the field, I suspect he won’t as the 13 drivers in front (excluding the top 10) all have more sets of fresh tyres. I think he’ll struggle to get points. Mclaren need to do some serious soul searching …or give me a job and let me sort them out! lol

    2. Maybe it rains and he gets a lucky break but with his luck of late you wouldnt count on it would ya.

    3. Bro….I am sorry for LH, it wasn’t his mistake but I can’t wait to see him race from the back. The only problem is that he is going to have to pass Massa!!!! :D:D

      1. Probably in the first stint, whilst surrounded by much slower cars and drivers.

  15. 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…

  16. 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.

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

      1. 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?

        1. Qualifying is a practice session.

  17. Absolute joke.

  18. 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.

    1. @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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

      1. @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…

        1. 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.

          1. 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.

      2. @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.

        1. @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.

  21. kilrcola (@adelaidef1fan)
    12th May 2012, 19:01

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


    They are clearly making an example of him.

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

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

    2. 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.

      1. 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???

        1. 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.

          1. 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.

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

  23. 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

    1. 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?

  24. Hamilton’s crew let him down yet Again!

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

    1. When Lewis’s leave the team for their incompetents.

  26. 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.

    1. Stewards are racist. Its the only explanation for such repeatedly harsh punishment. (Sorry!)

    2. 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.

    3. 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.

      1. 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?

        1. @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.

          1. @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”.

          2. @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?

          3. 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.

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

      1. davey (@djdaveyp87)
        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!

        1. 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??

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

    1. @095cal Exactly, there wasn’t enough fuel in.

  28. Tom Haxley (@)
    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 ;)

    1. Haha, well at least he would have a choice of which tyre he want to start now.

    2. No, he doesnt. Brundle seems to have confirmed this, so LH is stuck with the tyres he had in Q3.!/MBrundleF1

  29. If I were Hamilton I’d be asking questions at McLaren. Aside from giving him a real pace-setting car they’ve been ruining the races for him, twice with pit stops and now under-fueling his car. McLaren are the last team you’d expect to make such basic errors as these, they’re quickly throwing away a real shot at the title this year!!

    The fairest thing to have done would have been to completely dock McLaren of their constructors points for this round, regardless of where Hamilton and Button finish. No driver should have to take the rap for their team’s mistake like this. But then when was the last time the FIA did ‘fair’?

    1. Now I’m getting pretty sure Mclaren doesn’t want to win constructor’s title…

    2. Actually, McLaren are about the first team I’d expect to make such errors; there having been a catalogue of them on both cars stretching back through 2011 and into 2010. Sam Michael was brought in specifically to cut down on these mistakes, which just goes to show that whenever you hire Sam Michael to do something he will actually manage to make it worse (see: Williams performance now he’s left).

      1. Amazing comment!! . Thanks

  30. I can’t believe it. Absoloute joke. The same rule should apply to the race if someone runs out of fuel. How much time have they gained over a race distance by being 1 lap lighter than the car behind? 0.100s a lap perhaps? Maybe giving them a healthy advantage over the car behind, but they get no penalty. If I recall that happened to Vettel and Rosberg in Bahrain, so why not take their results away? The clue is in their names. No one can argue that the stewards are unfair to LH now. It’s not like that whole advantage was down to the fuel, some yeah, but not all. He would have had it regardless and they not only strip his fastest time, but send him to the back.

    1. there is no rule against not driving back to the pits in the race, However there is in qualifying.

      how is it been unfair to lewis when his team clearly broke the rules & the stewards applied to penalty stated under those rules?

      bet you woudn’t be calling it unfair had it happened to other drivers.

      1. My point is there should be. If you’re driving a whole race lighter on fuel than people behind you, then you’ve gained more than you possibly could in 1 qualifying lap. Yet it’s ok to do it in the race, why? Give me a reason why there is no similar ruling for the race and how it’s fair that Mercedes and Red Bull did the same in the race and probably gained alot of performance over the entire race, but that’s fine because the FIA haven’t bothered to create a rule against it. It’s unfair because 1 lap less fuel doesn’t give you the clear performance advantage that he had. Rules are straightorward, but are not applied as such in F1 and are usually applied more harshly to LH and that’s a fact. I would actually, as I am a F! fan and have a fondness for most of the drivers.

        1. Totally agree, its an absolutely stupid rule. How is it totally ok to do the exact same thing in a race but you get disqualified for doing it in qualifying? Where is the consistency??

          Dont even get me started on Mclaren, an absolute farce, HRT could do a better job …

          1. Correction: HRT DOES a better job.

      2. Only the rules do not state that the rules apply only to Qualifying.

  31. How about that Hulkenberg-Maldonado comparison?? I bet no one can say now that Pastor is just some random pay driver

    1. Hamilton penalty gives us a convenient excuse to gloss over it ;)

  32. McLaren have the best car on the grid, and two drivers capable of winning the title. But they’re making a real mess of this season.

  33. Oh boy, let the Hamilton fanbase hating the FIA begin!

    I do belief that the penalty is a bit harsh, but it would be unfair not to hand him a penalty. Mclaren have cheated and under-fuelled their cars in Qualifying all too often.

    1. ‘All too often’ …. thats a very flippant comment

      they did it once, when it wasn’t illegal. Today the mechanic accidentally drained some fuel when he should have added it, thats not cheating, thats a mistake.

  34. Come back Ron!!!
    Another race ruined by the Mclaren

  35. A characteristically monumentally stupid mistake from McLaren and a ridiculous penalty. Brilliant.

  36. It’s a screw-up, and a pretty massive one at that. But rules are rules, and making an exception for Hamilton would be setting a dangerous precedent. Still, it’s a bit harsh all things considered, and I’ll admit I was expecting him to be demoted to either 6th or 10th. But if that’s what the regulations say then there’s no arguing, and I suspect Hamilton’s record at Montreal 2010 pushed a particularly harsh stance.

    Well done to Pastor Maldonado though. He’s coming on well and forcing me to take back everything I said last year. Sure, he got a bit (or a lot) lucky, but he followed the rules where Hamilton did not, so deserves every accolade right now. Happy Birthday to Frank Williams too!

    Oh, and has anyone else had their predictions royally screwed by this. I had Hamilton to win…

  37. This is unprofessional for a team like McLaren. Oh! hang on! Why only McLaren? Isn’t this Formula 1? How can a team make multiple blunders over the course of just 4 races.

    I really pity with Hamilton. Poor guy is on the receiving end right from Malaysia.

    This blows his chance completely. I doubt even points for him now as he has used his tires more than his rivals and with such a tight field and a circuit like Barcelona. I really pity him!

  38. I personally don’t expect much from Spanish Stewards since their homeboy will benefit from this. When it comes to Hamilton, the punishments are always outrageous and misapplied.

    1. the stewards are not all spanish. there is 1 local steward but the other 2 are randomly selected from other countrys & dont forget there is also the ex-driver steward.

      in this case the stewards have simply applied the stated penalty for a regulation that was clearly broken.
      nothing to do with bias, all you have to do is read the fia sporting/technical regulations to see a rule was broken & the correct penalty applied.

  39. Total ********. F1 is a complete farce. Vettel did the same thing at the last GP after winning, pulling to a stop at the end of the pit to save enough fuel to give a sample. Did he get any penalty? NO! Of course not. If it had been a Red Bull or Ferrari that had done the exact same thing not a damn thing would have happened b/c they get special treatment from FIA and FOM.

    I’m not even watching this farce GP tomorrow. McLaren should boycott it too.

  40. Mclaren…
    Great job Withmarsh.
    For sure next race his car either doesn’t have a wing or missing a drive shaft.

  41. My least favourite team seems to be the most stupid team. LH would have had pole even with up to 3 laps extra fuel considering he was 0.5 up. Feel sorry for Hamilton.

    Happy for Pastor and Williams though.

  42. Wow that is the most outrageous decision ever!!!! The Hamilton haters will be saying that its to be expected but he got into Q3 fair and square did he not?!?!?!?!? The stewards in this sport are just crazy, so frustrated and annoyed! Fair sporting… I think not

  43. Does anyone know if they can Appeal?!

  44. I just read on the Sky website that the car was underweight does that mean it had a lack of fuel or something far worse like a lack of ballast like BAR in 2005 at Imola, is there something they have not told us or have the FIA been reallyy really harsh by putting him to the back of the grid. It should make for a fascinatin race with Pastor on pole and the matador 2nd come on Fernando.

  45. What about tyres, can now choose which to start on ?

    1. Sorry, can he now choose which to start on ?

    2. I think so.

      1. @eggry I don’t think he can, unless the team opt to start him from the pit lane, which is the only sensible thing to do, especially as Catalunya is known for it’s first corner incidents.

    3. I believe Hamilton will start the race on the tyres he qualified on. Sporting regulations article 25.4 (e) says:

      At the start of the race each car which took part in Q3 must be fitted with the tyres with which the driver set his grid time.

      There is no indication this rule is affected by a driver receiving a penalty after taking part in Q3.

      1. But he was disqualified from Q3 so therefore surely has not technically set a grid time in that Session? I am sure other drivers that have been demoted out of the top 10 got to start on their own choice of tyres…. But I may be wrong.

  46. Another Mclaren classic! All that talk about being the most professional and efficient team on the grid, yet another screw up. Poor Lewis, what more does this guy have to do?

  47. Mclaren screws up again! I’m no Hamilton fan but he doesn’t deserve this hardship, I’d be ****** as hell

  48. Hamilton obviously doesn’t deserve this and I’m sorry for him.

    However, I believe that McLaren as a team were rightly punished because they had gained an unfair advantage, even if it wasn’t decisive in this case. The penalty was necessary to discourage other teams from acting the same way in the future. In a closely fight season like this, where every thousandth of a second can be decisive, teams might be easily tempted to ‘miscalculate’ the necessary amount of fuel. It would then just lead to chaos and mockery.

    Now, who predicted the pole sitter for the Spanish GP correctly?

    1. Agree completly :)

    2. “I believe that McLaren as a team were rightly punished”. I think Hamilton as a driver was punished more than McLaren as a team. Dock the constructors points obtained from Hamilton’s result tomorrow, you have McLaren as a team being punished.

      In Montreal 2010, a fine of $10,000 was imposed. McLaren as a team was punished there. Not the case here. Last I checked, Hamilton doesn’t operate the fuel rig.

      1. Repeat offenders get harsher punishments no matter how differently it is viewed

        1. @ridiculous

          Repeat offenders get harsher punishments

          There’s no indication from the stewards’ statement that any previous incidents have been taken into account.

  49. From what i read Hamilton was disqualifyed from the all qualifying process not Q1, Q2 or Q3 so i guess he got lucky to be in the race tomorrow since he hadn´t any time in qualifying.
    In the end it´s Maclaren´s fault and i really feel sorry for Hamilton, he put a great show in Q3.
    Congratulations Williams

    1. Hamilton’s practice times are easily inside the 107% barrier; excluding him from the race would have been vindictive, and probably resulted in legal action from McLaren.

  50. Complete ********

  51. What would the penalty have been for coming back to pits and not being able to provide a full 1 Litre fuel sample?

    1. I think that is the question to be asked. What penalty is worst?
      Great comment.

  52. Don’t get all the comments going on about the stewards been unfair or bias etc…

    Article 6.6.2 of the 2012 Technical regulations clearly 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.

    The stewards have specific penalty’s to be given for specific regulations & quite clearly the penalty for breaking this regulation is disqualification from qualifying.

    Seems quite clear to me that a rule was broken & penalty deserved to be handed out!

    1. According to the stewards release Sam Michael attempted to claim force majeure on the grounds of the individual failing to put enough fuel in the car.

      1. kilrcola (@adelaidef1fan)
        12th May 2012, 19:27

        imagine if they didn’t punish them.

        Lotus/RB/Ferrari all next race..

        “oh one of our trainee pit crews forgot to fill up and we couldn’t finish the qualy outlap, our bad, can we still keep our qualy time?”

        1. But you can do that anyway on your first Q3 run; no-one’s taking fuel samples then (I think). A mistake such as this should only be punished enough to discourage it, as it would obviously be undesirable to have five cars parked on the straight at the end of Q3, but there are more lenient penalties to do that, such as a grid penalty, a time penalty, or taking away the timed lap that was underfuelled.

        2. Yeah of cause they should punish them. Afterall it was Lewis and McLaren who got the rule introduced in the first place, but a 24 grid drop is probably a bit harsh…

          1. Did anyone notice one of the Mclaren mechanics rush to whisper something into Hamiltons ear as soon as he had arrived at perc ferme area before getting weighed in?
            these guys messed up big and were already trying to cover up… but still too harsh is the punishment.

          2. Next to the bloke from the grassy knoll wasn’t he?

          3. whats your point tony M AT TANGO 11?..if you have nothing to say it is not wise spoiling a good discussion

          4. I noticed the guy speak to Hamilton..

            I think they should’ve just come clean, Whitmarsh definitely knew why Hamilton pulled over, yet their policy was to keep quiet – how stupid when the truth was inevitably going to come out. I felt for sure then Hamilton was short of fuel, I even wrongly assumed he was copying Kobayashi, but apparently the Sauber had a hyraulic problem.

            If Mclaren had come clean straight away a drop to the back of the grid would have called the sport into disrepute as it is the stewards can call lying to them the very same.

            Either way I feel it is very very unfair on Hamilton. I’d try to move to Lotus if I were him!

        3. And how would this hurt the sport?

          1. My guess is that if no fuel was required for testing, some sort of cheating shenanigans would ensue. Its not like F1 teams have never cheated before.

  53. The thing that annoys me is the penalty’s harsh. Fair enough, it’s legitimate it seems, but the back? Seriously?
    That’s just ridiculous, especially considering quite a few drivers didn’t even bother setting a time. It should be about exciting the spectators, not the damn laws. A drop to 10th I would agree with, and deem fair.
    But getting sent to the back when he evidently got to Q3 on his own merit is just pathetic, and is one of the reasons that turn people off watching the sport.
    On another note, Mclaren need to get their bloody act together. I wouldn’t be surprised if Lewis left, these persistent mistakes are seriously affecting his world championship chances.

    1. Exactly.

    2. @ash356 Totally agree.
      The pole time should have been struck off at most. The penalty they’ve given instead is totally over the top. They’ve ruined the race for Hamilton because of a mistake that is totally out of his control. I can’t believe that all of the other laps in Quali count for nothing, crazy.

    3. Second offence and lenient punishment don’t go hand in hand

  54. kilrcola (@adelaidef1fan)
    12th May 2012, 19:26

    I was expecting P6, but they really are making an example of HAM and MCLAREN.

    1. I wonder if Ferrari had made the mistake.
      Any doubts Alonso would get a 5 grid position penalty?

      1. kilrcola (@adelaidef1fan)
        12th May 2012, 19:35

        Well that’s all I was expecting. Perhaps to the back is too harsh.
        I am a Ferrari fan ill be honest and if that happened to Alonso i would be pissed too!

  55. In order to get a good result, Mclaren should start rain dance just about now…

  56. Mclaren should get a fine.

    1. They did when the same thing happened in Canada 2010, Hamilton kept the pole, and duly won the race.

      After that, the FIA changed the regulations to ensure it didn’t happen again…

  57. I think we need to think about this for a second. Firstly, I am too like many here surprised and a little bit disappointed to hear that HAM has been thrown to back of the grid. The punishment in no means seems to fit the crime. So all these people calling it a fair punishment, I assume, have a dislike to HAM. What about all the times drivers have stopped on track after a race? Why is this action always going unpunished, surely the advantage is just as great.

    Secondly, maybe someone will clear it up, but article 6.6.2 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”

    Now, last I checked, qualifying isn’t a practice session and thus this rule is null and void in this circumstance.

    Now, I do believe HAM should be punished. I don’t want to see cars qualifying and stopping on track after Q3 but a 5 grid place drop should be suffice or his time revoked. Once again the stewards have handed out another penalty not fitting for the crime and thus hampered someone that clearly deserves to have started at least 10th and once again we will be discussing penalties due to the over the top reaction by the stewards.

    1. You need to check again; from the sporting regulations:

      33.1 The qualifying practice session will take place on the day before the race from 14.00 to 15.00.
      The session will be run as follows :

    2. Now, last I checked, qualifying isn’t a practice session and thus this rule is null and void in this circumstance.

      Qualifying is actually classed as a practice session.

      LOok back at Bahrain 2010 where Karun Chandhok was allowed to race despite only doing laps in Q1 when there was this rule-
      “Article 31.2 of the FIA’s 2010 sporting regulations states that all drivers must take part in at least one of the practice sessions in order to be allowed to participate in the grand prix. ”

      The official name for qualifying is also ‘Qualifying PRACTICE’.

      1. Thanks for clearing that up, wonder if you could get away at stating it doesn’t officially say qualifying practice although most likely pulling at straws. Although happy there is a rule, still not happy at the punishment.

      2. In Brazil it’s called ‘treino livre’ and ‘treino oficial,’ free practice and official practice (qualifying).

      3. If this is the case, I am sure drivers have run out of fuel in practice sessions before? If so have they been punished? Perhaps I am only thinking of testing…. however I am almost certain I have seen drivers run out in free practice.

        1. Testing, yes; practice, no.

          1. Ah, thanks for that. I will be keeping my beasy eye out for future offences though…. ;-)

        2. Also what would be the punishment if they did? Obviously in Quali you can be disqualified from the whole 3 sessions but if it is in free practice what on earth would they do? I suppose they could ban the driver from Qualifying but that would then be slighty less of a punishment as you would have a full fresh set of tyres having not had to run in qualifying…… so surely that would not be fair?

  58. I feel baffled. Why the back of the grid? The amount of fuel missing on the car couldn’t have made him go 0.5s faster. And I am even more ****** off because this guy who did the best time and added excitement in the quali session, is severely penalised for no fault of his own, while a couple of other drivers who choose “to save tyres” and not running are comfortably making ahead!!

    1. Its simple. The rules call for exclusion from the session (all of it). So back of the grid it is.

      The good thing is that the stewards had NO discretion in this decision. So people shouldn’t be complaining about the decision, it was the only one the stewards could make.

      People should only complain about the rule if they think it a bad one.

      Secondly this isn’t swimming race. It is not only about the individual in car racing. It is not Lewis fault it is the car/team problem.

      As some others noted this does make Mclaren look very grubby indeed. Witmarsh’s dodgy evasiveness and his telling lies makes me think less of McLaren specially considering there past cheating offences.

      I would love to see Lewis go to another team and see how he goes.

      On the bright side think how much fun it will be to watch Lewis scythe his way through the field from the back of the grid.

      1. Where do the rules say that the punishment for that infringement is to be excluded from the session and where do they define the session to mean the entirety of qualifying practice and not just Q3?

        I totally agree that McLaren broke the rules and deserved punishment for it, but I’ve still to see a definitive source for what the punishment should be. If indeed there is one and that’s what it says, I have no issue with this at all. Do you have a link?

        1. Where do the rules say that the punishment for that infringement is to be excluded from the session

          The infringment is in the Technical Regulation. Therefore, the car is illegal. I cannot find something that states outright the the punishment is DSQ, but It’s hardly necessary. Breach in the Tech rules are either there or not there, and punishment has always been DSQ.

          where do they define the session to mean the entirety of qualifying practice and not just Q3?

          2012 Sporting Regulation, article 33.1.

          I totally agree that McLaren broke the rules

          That’s a common assumption throughout the comments in this article, I think.
          McLaren made a mistake. Because of that, the car was illegal. People are trying to wishfully balance the penalty as they see fit, like we do with driving issues, everyone has his own perspective. But that is not the case.
          Breach of the Tech rules, illegal car, DSQ. No discretion at all.

        2. If you bothered to read this comment from Stefmieester above you would understadn and feel better about it.

          “StefMeister (@stefmeister) said on 12th May 2012, 19:23
          Don’t get all the comments going on about the stewards been unfair or bias etc…

          Article 6.6.2 of the 2012 Technical regulations clearly 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.

          The stewards have specific penalty’s to be given for specific regulations & quite clearly the penalty for breaking this regulation is disqualification from qualifying.

          Seems quite clear to me that a rule was broken & penalty deserved to be handed out! “

  59. Can’t see anything other than a Lotus win now.

  60. Why don’t the stewards rewrite the rule and apply it “Next Time”?

    1. @jonz They did that in Canada two years ago.

  61. I really do feel sorry for Hamilton this season.

    His one lap pace has been supreme this season, and his race pace has been a lot more consistent than the other front runners. Though, McLaren seem to keep messing it up for him. They have a great car, as we have seen, it’s 5 tenths quicker than the next car on a track where the car is everything. Yet, they’re messing up both his and Jenson’s chances at this championship, whether it’s through setup, pitstops, or just general schoolboy errors such as this.

  62. Not Sam Michael’s finest hour. Too early to say he’s to blame – not certain what his role is at McLaren, but it’s something to do with sporting regulations. And look which team inherits its first pole position for…ah, only 18 months – but still, a great day for Williams.

  63. How can such a brilliant team make such stupid blunders, time after time and time again? Explain/defend this one Martin!

  64. Good ,i’m so glad,couldn’t happen to a nicer person NOT.
    Can’t stand the bloke arrogant,spoilt,and when he is to blame for something blames it on his colour.
    Rules are rules….

    1. You do realize Hamilton doesn’t personally fuel his car, do you? …grow up.

  65. As a Hamilton fan I’m gutted obviously but can understand the need for a penalty. But to demote him to the back of the grid? It’s draconian. I can’t recall a precedent for this offence or penalty since the rules were changed after Canada 2010 and there doesn’t seem to be anything in the regs about a specific penalty for the offence.

    The main issue is McLaren’s operational errors that show no sign of diminishing. If it isn’t a slow pit-stop, it’s a strategic error and now this. They are being trounced by Red Bull on the operational front just as they were by Ferrari in the Brawn/Schumacher/Todt/Byrne years and helps explain their constructor’s title drought. Hamilton’s an emotional man and driver who is personally delivering this year so if McLaren don’t sharpen up it wouldn’t surprise me if he saw the appeal of a Red Bull or Merc seat for 2013.

    1. And the rules were specifically brought in place for the very team for the very reason.

  66. Maldonado will be happy to have taken pole but will he feel it was deserved?

    1. Well McLaren effectively cheated to get pole, so yes.

      1. less fuel had advantage of 0.2 of seconds in a lap…Hamilton had pole by half a second

        1. McLaren still broke the rules, so they cheated, even though it turned out they didn’t need to.

        2. According to whom? I think that will depend on the circuit, the load difference and the car.

    2. Maldonado drove a fantastic qualifying. Of course his pole was deserved – McLaren didnt play within the rules, regardless of the merits or otherwise of Lewis’ penalty.

  67. One for the stats section – HAM becomes the first driver since MSC in 2006 Monaco to have got pole and then later been disqualified from all qualifying and to start the race last.

    1. Curiously, in both the cases, the said driver got the pole and then stopped the car in the in-lap.

  68. I’m pretty angry at this outrageous penalty. It was simply a stupid mistake that was punished in the harshest manner I can imagine. I was anticipating a 3, or maybe 5-place grid penalty; perhaps adding a few tenths to his time would have been a fair penalty too, to compensate for any advantage he may have gained. It must have been McLaren trying to cover up that Hamilton’s stoppage was fuel-related that rubbed the stewards wrong, though I do not exactly see how.

    What makes me more angry is that no FIA official batted an eye when Rosberg, Vettel, and Massa stopped on track after finishing the Bahrain GP, which is also not allowed according to this autosport article:

    Where does this leave Hamilton? At the back of the grid with four sets of used tyres, on a circuit where overtaking is very difficult. I was in a splendid mood after this afternoon’s exciting qualifying and Hamilton’s terrific performance, but now I feel like throwing some dishes across the room; or better yet, at an FIA official.

    1. What makes me more angry is that no FIA official batted an eye when Rosberg, Vettel, and Massa stopped on track after finishing the Bahrain GP

      the rule regarding stopping on track only applies to qualifying, There is no similar rule about the end of a race which is why nobody gets penaltys when stopping after the end of a race.

      dont forget this specific rule was only brought in after mclaren did the same thing at canada in 2010.

    2. Completely agree with you. What makes me more angry is that although there is a specific regulation prohibiting stopping on track due to lack of fuel, there is no set penalty for this action (as far as i can see) so where they plucked a back-of-the-grid penalty from only god knows. Also, the FIA/stewards have a knack of completely ruining special occasions by not using their discretion (eg hamilton’s penalty at Spa 2008). I feel really sorry for maldonado who did a superb job in qualifying but now his first ever f1 pole is stained with it being given to him by default.

    3. 1) Exploiting loophole when rules were placed for the very team for their very offense
      2) Lying to others about a non-fuel related car issues
      3) Getting caught red-handed with an under weight car
      And after all this if they should get a very lenient punishment I want to ask, how?

      1. @ridiculous,

        1) what loophole? There is a rule in place (because of them, yes), and they broke it. I’m sure they didn’t underfuel him on purpose.
        2) I didn’t know lying to the media would result in disqualification, and I don’t know what they said to the stewards.
        3) The Sky sports website mentioned the under weight car, but the FIA statement only mentioned breach of article 6.6.2.

        Having cooled down a little, I did find another reason why the penalty is harsher than I initially suspected:

        4) They must have known before, or during his flying lap, that he wasn’t going to make it back to the pits. So they conciously took the decision to let him finish the lap, and then try to argue later that their refueling error was force majeur, or maybe they just didn’t expect the penalty to be so harsh. I find this to be understandable, in the heat of the moment, though not entirely forgivable.

  69. While it might have been a bit harsh to put him all the way to the back, I’m glad the FIA finally stuck to the rules and gave a fair punishment (according to the rules).

    In all honesty though, if the other 11 teams somehow magically managed to fill their cars with the appropriate amount of fuel, how come one of F1’s most experienced and professional teams can’t do it too? I mean, HRT managed to pass tech with no problems, and they are hardly a McLaren. While Hamilton didn’t have anything to do with it, its still disappointing that his team have let him down like that, and that they messed up with the fuel…. again. Oh well, will be quite entertaining to see him come up through the field, lets hope he doesn’t do anything stupid in his desperation….

  70. No matter what way you look at this situation, it’s a complete joke.

    On one side, you have the sheer ineptitude of McLaren showing once again. As much as I have a soft spot for them, this ongoing catalogue of errors is just beyond excusable for any team, let alone one who should be riding high at the top of the constructor’s table at this point in the season.

    On the other hand, you have a penalty, which although correctly raised, seems harshly applied. Being kicked to the back of the grid just seems incredibly harsh, especially when the benefit was absolutely minimal. I guess the rules are the rules though.

    The only benefit this situation gives is that a Williams is on pole. Kudos to them. Can’t wait to hear the conspiracy theorists come out of the woodwork about how it was all to be good to FW and allow Alonso to be on the front row.

    1. Well predicted, I read your post after posting mine. Check out my conspiracy theory.

  71. It will be very stupid for HAM to race 2morro becuase he is only going to waste his energy for ppl who don’t care anyway. No point putting your life at risk while trying to grab positions from the back.

  72. What an absolutely outrageous penalty. I would agree with disqualifying him from Q3 and demoting him to P10, but how on earth could running too little fuel in Q3 possibly impede the potential grid positions of those who were knocked out in Q1 and Q2, which is suggested by demoting him to the back?

    1. @f1geordie
      I agree.
      Removing his Q3 efforts would be fair, like when a driver cuts a chicane and their lap is invalid, but I don’t see how a 24 grid drop makes sense.

  73. I remembered someone saying Maldonado is not good.Where did that speed come from?

    1. @ribf1 “Window operation” tyre :)

  74. 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

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

  76. The rules are well written.

  77. 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?

    1. the rules were changed because of what happened in canada that year!

      1. Aaah that explains that then, thanks Snafu!

  78. 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.

  79. 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!!

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

    1. Ha! Same for me. It was the team’s error or rather a completely unnecessary overdoing.

  81. 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.

    1. Agree with you completly.
      Lewis should be punished but not this harshly.
      Oh, if he were driving a red car he would not be starting from last place.

      1. @edmarques

        Oh, if he were driving a red car he would not be starting from last place.

        A Ferrari driver was demoted from pole position to the back of the grid at Monaco in 2006. So I don’t agree.

        1. @keithcollantine While I do agree, you’d have to say Schumacher at Monaco is a completely different proposition to Alonso in Spain.

      2. Lewis should not be punished, Mclaren should. Unfortunately for him ( at least this year ) he drives for them, so he suffers.

  82. Aleksandr Nausedas (@)
    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 :(..

    1. He’s excluded from the qualifying sessions, but his practice times were well inside 107% so no doubt he will be allowed to start, just like Karthikeyan despite he was unable to set a time within 107% in qualifying.

      1. Aleksandr Nausedas (@)
        12th May 2012, 20:15


  83. 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?!

  84. 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!

  85. petebaldwin (@)
    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.

    1. Pure ********. Hamilton is an F1 driver, why the hell would he go to NASCAR?!

  86. 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

  87. 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!

    1. 15 races to go, well that is a scary thought.

  88. 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

  89. I knew it the second Hamilton stopped. The commentators hardly noticed it, never mind thinking of the consequences…

  90. am sure if Buttons car was underfuelled…the punishment would have been different.

  91. Well I’m as shocked as anyone else.. But if Hamilton needed to give a fuel sample, then he should know more than any of the other drivers that he has to make it back to the pits under his own power. After all, it’s his actions that brought in this rule. It’s a completely sound rule, and I think the punishment is completely justified. The rules are there to be respected. If he only had a 5 or 10 place penalty like some people on here are suggesting, then that would mean that he still starts ahead of cars that did abide by the rules, which is surely unfair…

    No, I don’t hate Hamilton, I just believe that if he keeps having problems like this (through either his own fault or his team’s) then he’s got to pay the price, it’s the same for the other 23 drivers on the grid, why should Hamilton be able to ‘bypass’ rules?

    1. You make it sound like Hamilton cose to stop. The team came over the radio and said stop immediately technical issue. The driver has no blame in this. Mclaren is the culprit and the same goes for Canada. Mclaren fuelled the car, Mclaren mde the decision to stop. How is the driver to know what is wrong.

    2. You do realise the Driver does not fuel the car, he does not have a fuel gauge in the car, he does not have a fuel flow meter in the car to work out how much fuel he is using, he has to rely on the team completely on all of this information

      Your post makes it all sound like it was Hamilton who refuelled his car personally, By the 10 times you use He and His. Sorry mate i think you clearly do hate Hamilton. When was the last time you saw a F1 driver personally refuelling his own car?

      The only correct people you can but any blame for this error is on Mclaren THEY are the ones who stuffed up. This was NOT Hamilton’s fault he does not deserve any of the criticism you have given him

  92. CONSPIRACY THEORY: Germans (VETTEL) didn’t have a good saturday nor did Button and Webber, Williams, on Sir Frank Williams’ birthday get Maldonado on the front row deservedly along with home-town boy Fernando Alonso in P3 in a poor but improved Ferrari.

    Stewards: Let’s disqualify Hamilton.


    1. @younger-hamii

      Mind if I offer another conspiracy theory?

      Do you remember the final scenes of Ronin, where it turns out Robert de Niro is still a CIA agent? CONSPIRACY THEORY: SAM MICHAEL NEVER LEFT WILLIAMS.

      For completeness sake, I should add I am not being serious.

  93. Sam Michael….it’d be funny if he wasn’t ripping off the fans and the sponsors. The man is the sporting equivalent of the crony capitalist. He moves from team to team, earning a fortune, driving down success….but then someone will probably hire him when McLaren go another 5 years without a constructor’s championship. But hang on…the reason he made Williams go backwards was because the technical design aspects weren’t his strength – he needs to be in an operational capacity to make the pitstops and on track aspects run like clockwork.

    1. So true!! I was really suprised when McLaren hired him. He almost destroyed Williams!! And now McLaren has the best car by far, but they can’t capitalise their advantage because Sam is responsible for all the important trackside desicions.
      Come on, the guy doesn’t have what it takes.

  94. Yet another farce to add to the long, long catalogue of ridiculous decisions made by the FIA / race stewards.

    At the outset, I completely accept that Hamilton/McLaren have breached Article 6.22 – but as far as I can see (and please, correct me if I’m wrong here), that Article does not stipulate what the punishment is for any breach?

    As such, how on earth did the stewards reach the decision that complete disqualification from qualifying was the fair sanction?! By most estimates, a lap’s worth of fuel is worth 0.1 – 0.3 seconds; Lewis was on pole by nearly 0.6 seconds. Also, the underfueling of Hamilton’s car did not affect his first run in Q3 – and it certainly didn’t affect his times in Q1 and Q2.

    The most galling thing is that far worse offences have received much more minor sanctions. Think back to Spa last year where Maldanado was given just a 5 grid place penalty for intentionally crashing into Hamilton . How can failing to complete the slow-down lap be deemed more serious than intentionally making contact with a competitor’s car?

    It’s this disproportionate application of punishments which really damages the sport – this isn’t the only example either, think about McLaren getting a $100m fine for copying elements of Ferrari’s design compared to Renault receiving a suspended disqualification for instructing one of their drivers to crash.

    All fans and competitors in any sport ask is that decisions are transparent, fair and proportionate. F1 continually fails on nearly all of these counts.

    1. Brilliant statement.

      1. Totally agree.

    2. If you will turn a blind eye to,
      1) Exploiting the rule which was put forth for the very offense of the very team(repeat offence Canada 2010)
      2) Lie to reporters about a non-existent car issue not related to fuel
      3) Take the lie to stewards(repeat offence Australia 2009)
      then yes, you are right @bpacman

      1. @ridiculous
        (1) When Hamilton failed to return to the pits in Montreal in 2010, this wasn’t in contravention of any rule in place at the time. As such, I fail to see how it’s relevant here – it’s not a repeat offence? All because the rules have changed now does not deem what happened in Canada 2010 to have been a contravention of the rules too. You can’t punish someone for doing something that wasn’t an offence at the time?!
        (2) Please include a link to the part of the FiA rules where it states that you have to tell reporters the truth. Also, I haven’t seen it since but I’m pretty sure Whitmarsh was noncommittal on what caused Hamilton to stop – he said they’d have to look at the data to find out?
        (3) Read the statement properly – the stewards never concluded that McLaren lied. They simply didn’t accept McLaren’s contention that a team member failing to put the right amount of fuel in the car was force majeuere. McLaren never told the stewards that there was a problem with the car, they put forward their contention (i.e. that a team member putting the wrong amount of fuel in was force majeure) and the stewards didn’t accept it. If putting forward your side of the case amounts to lying, every barrister in this country is a liar.

    3. Aleksandr Nausedas (@)
      12th May 2012, 20:36

      Well, as stewards declared on their official post, because Ham’s vehicle couldn’t reach stewards for checkup, they were unavailable to take a fuel sample from Ham’s formula thus influencing DSQ from quali as they contained no evidence of everything being correct or normal throughout all sessions, thus this DSQ is totally explainable why he was punished by 24 positions, even though I think it should have been a fine given to team and none punishment done for the driver as it wasn’t his fault! Hope I manage to answer your question..

      1. @alexsandr Could you please quote the part of the stewards’ statement where they say they couldn’t take a sample from Hamilton’s car?
        As I read it, they punishing him for failing to return to the pits under his own power.
        As the statement does not mention that Hamilton did not provide a sample of fuel, I’m assuming that he did and that they found nothing wrong with it.
        Also, Ted Kravitz tweeted that there was 1.5 litres of fuel in Hamilton’s car when he stopped and the stewards required 1 litre of this for their testing.

    4. @bpacman

      Think back to Spa last year where Maldanado was given just a 5 grid place penalty for intentionally crashing into Hamilton .

      I agree that punishment was too lenient, but that doesn’t make this one too harsh.

      1. @keithcollantine I take your point but how do you judge if a decision is harsh? You do so by comparing it to past decisions.

        The sanction applied to Hamilton would suggest that this infraction is of the same seriousness as Schumacher parking his car in the middle of Rascasse in 2006 and significantly more serious than Maldanado’s deliberate contact with Hamilton last year at Spa.

        1. @bpacman True but equally you shouldn’t let past bad decisions become an excuse for making more bad decisions.

          1. @keithcollantine I completely agree. Even judged in isolation though, I’d say that this decision is harsh. Short of preventing Hamilton from racing tomorrow, the stewards couldn’t have applied a harsher penalty. For me, that kind of penalty should be reserved for the most serious offences – such as driving that endangers competitors/stewards – not failing to complete the slow-down lap under your own power.

            What’s your opinion Keith – do you think this was an appropriate penalty?

          2. @bpacman Not made my mind up yet. Will comment or write an article when I do. Preoccupied with pre-race analysis and round-up at the moment.

  95. In the last race we had the Rosberg incidents and after discussions there will be no zero tolerence applied as circumstances are different. With this if Hamilton got pole by a tenth then this would have made a difference but he gained a tenth at most and was on pole by 7 tenths. Stewards should take this into account.

    Thing with Mclaren is they lie alot, spygate, Australia 2008 and they have done what happened today before. Cheats do not prospor hence 1 constructors title in 20 years.

    1. Australia 2009. Also Hamilton cheating the safety car Valencia 2010 and getting a token penalty so long after he secured 2nd.

  96. Lewis has had fueling problems in under a year…in singapore he cudnt go out for a second run in Q3 becoz the pump guy was pumping fuel out instead of in..n nw this..this is craizy..heads shoud roll

  97. Face it. Mclaren was trying toi cheat and got caught. Period.

    1. No, I think it’s just incompetence on this occasion. It was clear he had an edge over the field throughout qualifying. No need to deliberately under-fuel the car to gain half-a-tenth, especially given the high possibility they’d be caught.

      It also fits McLaren’s behaviour so far this season – a lot of small mistakes that have ended up being very costly.

  98. Can someone please tell me if this has ever been applied to drivers finishing the race with a shortage of fuel. I can’t remember anyone getting penalised.

    Surely not carrying enough fuel for 72 laps give more time advantage than for 3!

    1. I remember cars being disqualified after races for being underweight. Prost just made it past the chequered flag at Imola in 1985 before he ran out of fuel, but he was later thrown out. Not quite the same thing (the stewards’ statement doesn’t say Hamilton’s car was underweight, and it sounds like the rule he broke only applies to qualifying).

      The FIA has thrown the book at anyone they believe is trying to run light – as you say, it’s got to be a big advantage. The BAR team was banned for two races in 2005, and the Tyrrell team had all its 1984 results wiped. Admittedly they were trying things which were illegal – and although the intent today was not the same, you could say that compared to those, McLaren have got off lightly.

  99. chris phillips (@)
    12th May 2012, 20:38

    Do the FIA publish the weight/volume of fuel remaining in vehicles? i’d love to know how much fuel he did actually have. I’d also like to know weights and fuel for all cars after qualify and before and after each race.
    We have to question why Hamilton always gets the harsh decisions from the F1/FIA officials around the world.
    Also why he gets terrible service from the team when Ron isn’t about.

    Lewis going to Ferrari would be great PR all-round when it happens.

  100. Have a feeling that Hamilton will win tomorrow….. then dedicate it to the stewards for their applying a punishment consistent with the error.

  101. In Hamilton’s position, I’d seriously consider not racing tomorrow.

    With the difficulty of passing on the Barcelona track, the likelihood of scoring points is fairly low, and if you can sit out qualifying to save your tyres, why not sit out a race to save your engine and gearbox ?

    Or would that attract another penalty ?

    1. Absolutely my opinion too. Hamilton should do a quick lap or two then pull in to save an engine and box. Makes more sense in the strategic races we now have to watch. Won’t help the spectacle of F1 but they really don’t deserve it.

  102. Congratulation to Pastor for a great lap and Sir William! Now it’s all open for Fernado to win the race.
    Once again Mclaren have done the impossible, swim against the current. This is crazy!!!

  103. I’m sick & tired of the stewards harshness towards Hamilton. It seems one rule for Lewis & another for the rest of the grid. I’m in two minds now wether to cancel SKY Sports & not follow F1 anymore & I’m a massive massive fan. It wouldn’t be so bad if they handed out punishments pro rata to other drivers. But they don’t. They all get away with stuff but Hamilton puts a foot wrong they throw the book at him. I wouldn’t be surprised if Lewis left F1 all together. I agree rules are rules but penalties should be consistent from 1 drive to another & while this is obviously far too harsh other drivers penalties are to lean. Maybe it’s a time to have a rethink how the stewards are elected.

  104. Good luck for LH tomorow. As alonso’s fan i need LH in front of the race because there are the drivers and the race is exhiting with both of them. Come on LH you have to win the race and dedicated to stewards

  105. I wonder where Hamilton will finish tomorrow after Mclaren balls up He`s pit stops?

  106. McLaren first cheat then lie about it. They were punished for blatantly lying in Australia 2009 and Canada 2010 cleared up the fuel rule beautifully.

    I’m absolutely gutted for Hamilton, his performance today was nothing short of dominant. There was never any doubt he was going to end anywhere else, a .5 gap shows a kilo of fuel less wouldn’t have made a difference.

    Please don’t label people who agree with the penalty as anti-Hamilton. He should have been on pole, but the team simply doesn’t deserve it by pulling amateur stuff like this.

    1. +1
      Stuff for amateurs. Inexcusable for McLaren.

    2. @bs
      When did they lie?
      They simply put forward their argument (force majoure), and the FIA didn’t accept it. As has already been said, if that makes them liars, it also makes every lawyer in the world a liar.

      Absolutely stupid of McLaren. They would have known about it before he passed the pits, they could have pulled him in and settled for a slightly lower position. I doubt Hamilton’ll get another WDC at McLaren, hopefully he can take Webber’s seat for 2013. Then we’ll get a proper battle!

  107. andrew_s (@)
    12th May 2012, 20:58

    better strategy is for lewis to stay in the pits in Q3, save tyres and engine/gearbox wear and then get his start position by proxy.

    seems to work for somemof the other drivers.

  108. Now this is going to be a great race….Alonso will be first on turn one, the hard tires are working great on the Ferrari and Alonso will work his magic.

  109. There is no doubt in my mind that McLaren/Hamilton should be punished. However, the issue I have with the FIA is the lack of information on the penalties available and lack of detail and clarity for the penalty given. This also leaves themselves open to comments of inconsistency and bias.

    As part of their press releases for each penalty investigated they should state the penalties available and give reasons why a particular punishment was chosen.

    At least then we could discuss if the penalty and the reasons for giving it are appropriate with all the facts at hand.

    1. +1!

      @smileyriley, exactly what I’m thinking. I still haven’t found any FIA document that outlines that this violation equals this penalty.

      It would be very disappointing to find out that a black and white penalty like this was up to the stewards’ discretion.

  110. Madness, by all.

    back of the grid, what a joke.

  111. what a joke…. the penalty was too much in my opinion, when he was as quick as he has been all weekend to slap him to the back of the grid is over-board… McLaren once again have totally ruined Lewis’s race…

    …the sooner he can go to a team that can actually make good decisions the better, McLaren have been know for there poor strategy in recent years but, in one of the closest seasons in decades and they have all-but stopped him from even being a contender, despite having one of the best cars on the track.

  112. hi guys 1 other thing thst really bugs me about mclaren doing this it now means that they have now completly screwed jensons race too because he now dos’nt start 11th with a free rain on tyre option great job mclaren just handed the championship to lotus ,red bull ,mercedes .

    1. Button didn’t set a time in Q3, he gets to choose anyway.

  113. Feel sorry for LH, but the punishment was absolutely correct. McLaren run an underfuelled car and tried to get away with it. Do you really think they realized Lewis didn’t have enough fuel to return to the pits ONLY AFTER he set his pole time? Not a chance, they knew he was underfuelled right away, most likely even before he started his lap and DEFINITELY before hi finished it. They should have ordered him to abort his run and return to the pits. In that case, he would still be qualified quite high. Instead, they broke the rule and tried to get away with it by citing a false technical problem. This clearly qualifies as a deliberate attempt to gain an unfair advantage = cheating, by running a car that doesn’t comply with the regulations, in other words an illegal car. And the punishment was handed accordingly. Qualifying is a single event, and LH was excluded from the whole event.

  114. does hamilton get new tyres then?

    1. No, you cannot benefit from a penalty like that!

    2. yes if he starts from the pitlane and not the grid (I think)

  115. Absolutely disgusting!!!!!

    I won’t be watching tomorrow and any true Hamilton fan shouldn’t.

    Boycott the race!!!!!!

    1. That is dumb.

  116. UNBELIEVABLE!… Didn’t Vettel stopped at the end of the pit lane in the pit exit some past GP? And then run to the weight verification?… Why the ******* rules only apply to Hamilton… It’s the same year after year – one set of rule for him, other to the rest… I can’t believe this… I had the read this parody from some 3 sites to make sure it was real… NO MORE COMMENTS… Or else this post would no be published…

    1. @win7golf As far as I know, the rule only applies to qualifying, not the race. As long as there’s a fuel sample in the car, it’s ok to do it after the race.

  117. Nobody has yet answered the question “what would have been the penalty for having less than 1 litre of fuel in the car for sampling?”

    1. @Csl46.
      The penalty for having less than 1litre of fuel in the tank would depend on who was driving it.
      For sure if its Hamilton, it would be a 2 year ban. For some others perhaps a reprimand or $5000 fine.

    2. I tried to find the answer to this, but haven’t been able to. Since both of these violations (1. not making it to pit lane and, 2. needing 1 liter for testing) are under 6.6.2, right now I’d have to assume they carry the same penalty.

      If that is the case, and McLaren knew this, I think their hands were tied. They decided the only way to go would be to claim force majeure and stop the car, hoping the FIA would buy it.

      The alternative would be to accept the same penalty for less than 1 liter of fuel.

    3. I don’t recall a breach of the Technical Regulation being punished by nothing else than DSQ.
      And these rules are part of the Tech Reg.

  118. so this season we have learned;

    1. you can drive people off the track
    2. you can over-take while being off the track
    3. but if you run low on fuel, you get D/Q’d

    Can’t wait what the rest of the season has to offer us for insane rules that make seemingly no sense! :D

    1. kilrcola (@adelaidef1fan)
      13th May 2012, 4:54

      Good points there!

  119. CarnivorousPope (@)
    12th May 2012, 21:53

    Of course the mechanic was noticed by others. It was mentioned during the commentary and on the radio as well.

  120. Oh dear, another individual error costing Mclaren.

    Whilst I accept that perhaps punishment was necessary depending on the exact nature of the mistake, I think the stewards have yet again given out a disproportionate penalty. I don’t believe it was a deliberate decision to underfeul the car, why would it be when they had such a large advantage over the other cars?

    I would have expected the deletion of the lap time(s) on which the car was underfuelled would be a sufficient punishment and deterrent. The worst I’d expect would have been disqualification from Q3 given thats when the breaking of the rules happened but to expel Hamilton from the whole of qualy seems very harsh and disproportionate.

    At least Hamilton still has the fastest car though, and if its as fast in race trim as it was in qualy it’ll be interesting to watch him, Webber and Button hopefully come through the field towards the podium positions at the end of the race.

  121. Does this now mean that any car that completes the race and is unable to get back to the pits is disqualified? As this has happened lots of times. As the rules state “Competitors must ensure that a one litre sample of fuel may be taken from the car at any time during the event. Seems to me that the rule book only comes out when Lewis is involved. This sport can be as frustrating as boxing sometimes!

  122. This is a disgustingly unfair decision. Back of the grid? For f. sake. What is it with the FIA? They finally saw Hamilton grinning broadly for the first time in months and thought, “Well, we can’t have this”.

    Whatever feelings of persecution Lewis may have been able to banish through strength of mind, they’ll be back in full force now.

    1. Just read the end-of-qualifying report and saw that Keith saw this coming. But, Keith, isn’t it way over the top to be dropped down the entire grid? After all, HAM got similar times in Q1 and Q2 with enough fuel to get back to the pits. Surely this should be taken into consideration?

      1. CarnivorousPope (@)
        12th May 2012, 22:23

        Indeed. The decision was unfair in proportion to the advantage but rules are rules. :/

        1. But do the rules specify this exact penalty?

          1. I think Mclaren got this level of punishment because Whitmarsh tried to pretend like they didnt know what was wrong with Lewis’ car when it is now known they sent the car out -knowing- it didnt have enough fuel

          2. I agree the fact whitmarsh pretended they didn’t have an explanation for the issue may have been taken into account… But I certainly don’t think they sent the car out ‘knowing’ it didn’t have enough fuel, why on earth would you do that? Given the potential penalty which can be deployed in such an instance… This is obviously an error in calculation, judgement or equipment when fuelling the car for Q3… and looking at the telemetary on the inlap noticed there wasn’t enough fuel..

  123. Interesting…the stewards decided not to weigh a fine on the team this time! As per the rules…the final word is all theirs. Good to know this bit.

  124. Juan Pablo Heidfeld (@juan-pablo-heidfeld-1)
    12th May 2012, 22:20

    What a ridiculous decision

  125. Gary Anderson sums it up here comment on the left.

  126. Does anyone know if Hamilton could have made it back to the pits using KERS and his 0.3 litres efficiently? I’d have thought the 80Hp Kers and 0.3 litres of fuel should have been enough to coast back at 60mph???

    1. it all depends on where he was on track and he was ordered to stop.
      thing is..was it worth the penalty resulting from not making it to the pits?..or could the penalty be any better or worse had the car made it to the pits only to have less than a litre of fuel for FIA sampling and testing?

      1. I don’t know where he came to a halt, hopefully someone that can recognise each corner might be able to shed some light on this?

        I hope it rains tomorrow and Hamilton can set his car up for it perfectly. Then charge through the field take the win and thank the stewards for penalising him! (never gonna happen though!)

    2. I think the rules forbid them from going that slowly, even if he could have made it on that much fuel.

      1. ahh, Ok thanks Keith!

        1. I believe there is a time limit involved. So theoretically he could have, provided he made it back in time.

  127. Does the regulation specify the penalty or is their discretion involved?

    1. from what i see the penalty is not specified hence the stewards decide according to their own interpretation… i see this as a benchmark rule setting a precedent…but then FIA NEVER is consistent.. they have knee jack reactions to situations that’s why we have new rules every year ..etc etc…

      1. In which case simply saying ‘rules are rules’ is an inadequate response. The penalty is completely disproportionate and it was levied entirely at discretion rather than by rule.

      2. On sky Johnny Herbert (Who has been driver steward a few times) said the stewards have set penalty’s to be applied for specific rule infringements.

        He seemed to suggest the penalty applied was the penalty specified for breaking this specific rule & was totally unsurprised by the severity of the penalty.

        1. I figured as much, but the FIA would serve themselves much better by stating that in their releases. 80% of the outrage everyone is having is over the severity of the penalty and the perception that it was decided subjectively.

        2. If Herbert was on the panel, he would have found a way to pin this on Massa

  128. Looking on bright sight,if Shcum can finish at P10 from P22 at bahrain..
    lets see if lewis can do the same at P24..

    1. not an easy task judging from history..all the drivers like Massa will do everything to ensure Hamilton does not pass …the best thing to probably happen is a pile up…and safety car.. in am praying…

  129. I do feel sorry for Lewis, through no fault of his own he is going to miss what looked like an excellent opportunity to win his first race of the season.

    As mentioned by many previously the penalty seems extraordinarily harsh when being a lap of fuel light over a whole 50 lap race is deemed to be less of an advantage than being light for just a single lap of qualifying. Especially when actively blocking an opponent to prevent them from completing a faster lap than yours would in theory only result in a 10 place grid penalty.

    As unsavoury as the idea is however, what would have happened if Hamilton had done a Bruno Senna, left his car beached in the gravel but with the crucial amount of fuel still in the tank. In that case it would surely just go down as driver error and no-one would look at whether or not he had enough fuel to get back to the pits and still have a sample.

    The whole thing is another unlucky break for Hamilton, he seems to have really pulled himself together this season and has looked incredibly quick when he has had the car under him, only to be let down by a string of unfortunate or ridiculous mistakes by the team.

  130. Kimi, that is all
    Kimi will win the race with Alonso second and Grosjean third
    Shame i couldnt predict this but then again who could!

    1. kimmi is my second best liking after Hamilton who is my best.
      i hope he wins as well. but Alonzo is hard to beat this time at home.
      if Hamilton makes it to points place… i will be more than happy. i hope he does not adopt that do or die attitude like in 2009 when he crushed out? at same circuit? not sure which year..

      1. If you mean where he crashed out on the second-last lap, that was not his fault. He had a wheel-rim failure, causing a deflation of the tyre.

  131. A real shame for Lewis. Unfortunately he who is perhaps least responsible is the one who is penalised the most. Perhaps if I were quick to react I would suggest that the team should be punished by way it deducting points from the constructor championship, however, that’s just ugliness waiting to happen.

    It’s not like he even has fresh tyres to ease the burden, poor guy!

  132. Actually in hindsight Hamilton did not have to go for that pole lap. he could have just let go and started from second row … that he has met a draconian punishment for doing what he does best..

  133. I really don’t understand what all the fuss is about. Hamilton did not qualify according to the rules, therefore all his times from qualifying are thrown out. The stewards very nicely allowed him to race, just like the HRT that did not meet the 107% rule, but from the back of the grid.

    The McLaren team made a serious mistake, they knew it (in fact McLaren caused the rule to be written in the first place, not too long ago), then they tried to weasel their way out. For goodness sake, “force majeure” means unavoidable – they could have easily avoided this but putting less than half a gallon more fuel in and adding maybe a tenth of a second to his time — then he would still easily have been on pole.

  134. Can anyone explain me:

    Why Hamilton was penalised for not returning to pits on his own wheels after qualifying while it seems to be completely legal and often seen after races? Are the rules different for both quali and race in this case?

    1. Read the last nine pages of comments.

      1. Just read the first pages first few comments. Better yet read the article.

  135. could Hamilton have spun out in the first corner , stall the engine , and toe back to the garage , nobody would have gave it a second thought?

    1. @nerf Pretty sure Schumacher got caught out trying that ol’d trick…

    2. But he would have done it after crossing the finish line and not on a hot lap. Then there would be 350 comments on this forum about how Hamilton cheated (or not).

  136. I suspect a conspiracy between McLaren and Keith Collantine. Every time HAM or the team screw up theres a heap of traffic on the F1F site. More traffic, more revenue for Keith :)

    Or it could just be another c**k up by the team. Either way I’m looking forawrd to seeing Ham sythe through the field…and I’m not a fan.

    1. Nice one.

    2. They should take this opportunity to alter the set up and make sure he has a high 7th gear to fully utilise the DRS (obviously they can make changes in parc ferme penalty free given they are in last already). If they don’t do this and he’s is bouncing off the limiter in 15th unable to gain positions. It will only cause further frustration. I hope he makes it to 10th at least. But at this circuit… hmmm. One can only hope :(

      1. To make it to tenth he has to pass or overtake at least five seven cars before the first lap is over, then undercut by brilliant pitting during tyre change to gain more spaces..

  137. Im sorry but the FIA are a joke. They fall back to often on team and drivers agreements and amend their “rules & regulations” only when they see fit. Which tends to happen after Hamilton has done something they do not like. No why is it they do not make rules clear on practice sessions qualifying sessions and the actual race.

    Now if those teams in Bahrain managed to stop after the line of the race then why is Hamilton punished in qualifying? And why so harshly. I agree if he is going to be punished wipe his fastest lap from the timing sheets don’t send him to the back of the grid and not let him have the option of new tyres.

    But at the same time I do feel that although the mechanic putting the fuel in has made a mistake, I don’t see why McLaren fabricated that it wasn’t there fault. If they had kept him in the pits a few more seconds to make up for his lose of fuel he would have still crossed the line time left for a flying lap. In this instance Hamilton has had to pay the price for Mclarens mistake again.

    I am a fan of Mclaren and of Hamilton and Button I am scratching my head at why they are messing up these golden moments they have.

    Nuff said.

  138. OK, after reading all of this I’ve got to ask why is a car/driver who does not set a time in Q3 allowed a position ahead of those who don’t make it to Q3?

    I understand (but don’t agree with) the penalty Hamilton has received. But other drivers didn’t go out on Q3 and received starting positions in the top 10 – makes no sense to me.

  139. Never so this much controversy over a penalty on F1F before.400 comments and counting,i’m impressed.As far as the penalty is concerned,i don’t think that McLaren tried to cheat,it was a simple human error,a stupid one indeed.It was clear that Hamilton was fastest othere,no reason for them to be so tight on fuel.If he had one more gallon of fuel onboard he would still get the pole,but it’s easy for me to talk about it now.People make mistakes,simple as that.Those who bash Mclaren for making mistakes and letting Hamilton down,i ask them how many wins would Hamilton score riding a tricycle in his pajamas,and would he been a 2008 champion without them.They practically made him,so it’s not quite fair to bash them like this.And yes,Sam Michael is a walking disaster.

    1. If he was driving for a team like Ferrari, he could have been 2007 champion, 2008 champion, possibly 2009 champion, and possibly 2010 champion, and 2011 runner up. All these years the Ferrari has been right up there challenging for the title.
      I hope Hamilton goes to a team capable of going at least 1 race without making a major mistake! Even HRT aren’t this bad, at least they know how to put fuel in a car!

      1. 2009 was Brawn’s year but I agree Hamilton could have achieved more if he were with Ferrari.

        Unfortunately for him he won’t be able to join Ferrari now unless he were willing to supportAlonso

        1. In the heat of the moment I made a monumental mistake with my comment above, Hamilton was definitely in the best position possible with Mclaren till 09 and not many drivershave had the chance to join the best team. Alonso is a better all round driver though

      2. @minnis Was that supposed to be funny,get serious will you.Without McLaren in 2007 he would be really lucky to get a seat in a beckmarker,let alone in a established team,Ferrari would have been out of question,lol.But for the sake of argument,let’s say that by freaky coincidence he ended up in Ferrari,and Ferrari are famous for hiring rooke drivers previously sponsored by McLaren such as Lewis was back then,where do you think that Alonso would have been all these years.Let me tell you,he would be in McLaren winning races and titles.Alonso was a contender for the title in a subpar Ferrari,he would be walking away with it in a Mclaren.If Hamilton had a better team to go to he would be long gone by now.

        1. Lewis haspaid his dues at Mclaren. Mclaren during Ron’s era is so different to Withmarsh’ era. I said last year, Hamilton should have moved to Williams, as he will not win another championship for Mclaren with Withmarsh in charge. The harder he tries the worse it gets.

        2. @kimster381 and all others,
          I think you are missing my point – all those years I mentioned, both Hamilton and Ferrari were in the running. I’m merely pointing out that other teams have been in contention, but have made few or no mistakes like McLaren have. I’m also not saying he WOULD have gone to Ferrari, in fact I doubt that could ever have happened. I’m just hypothesising on what he could have done if he HAD. I’m also not saying just Ferrari – I said a team LIKE Ferrari. This could mean RBR, Brawn for 2009, even the Lotus or Mercedes this year. If he can drag the dog of a car McLaren produced for the first half of ’09 into the points, then he could do wonders with one of these.

      3. ROFL. Thanks , I needed a laugh!

      4. ROFL. Thanks, I really needed a laugh.

  140. I really don’t get the whole fuel sample thing. Do F1 teams still concoct their own fuel formulas? I know that Indycar runs E-85 as the standard fuel for all competitors. If F1 does already have a specified fuel are they suspecting teams of “doctoring” the mixture, thus the testing? Also, one-plus liters seems like a large amount just to test for compliance but then I am certainly no expert in this area. When was the last time someone was caught using an illegal fuel? I’m sure someone here can enlighten me.

    1. exactly….i agree that this fuel sampling thingy is joke by FIA..perhaps we should have just one fuel supplier for all teams just like the tyre thingy with there is no need for testing.. each cars fuel…saving costs in the end..

      1. Good idea, there is no point in each team bringing their own fuel if it is all the same RON. The only team I know of that uses a specific fuel is Ferrari using shell. Everyone should use the same fuel and it could be monitored in the same way the tyres are

    2. Nick.UK (@)
      13th May 2012, 0:18

      @quin1010 I can’t recall exactly what race it was last season, but one of the Toro Rosso’s received a penalty, which I will not hesitate to say, was NOWHERE near as bad as this – 5, maybe 10 place penalty I think. It was for a ‘fuel irregularity’. No more details were revealled so far as I know. I don’t think many people cared to be honest. It wasn’t a pole lap like this… nor Lewis Hamilton.

    3. 1997 Mika Hakkinen was stripped of his third place at Spa.

      I kind of agree with you but the rules are there as a pre-emtive measure. Let’s think of it this way;

      There is no longer a sample taken by the FIA, everyone just assumes every other team is using the standard regulation fuel!! PLEASE. How long do you think that would last? A race? Maybe two? Don’t be naive

    4. I think the reason for testing has been covered. Mainly because there is not a sole fuel supplier.

      The reason they get their own fuel is because the teams want it that way due to sponsorship.

      The largest example is Ferrari and Shell, a very long partnership. In fact Shell just came out they have gotten another 2bhp out of a new fuel formula looking for another tenth of a second even though it conforms to current strict fuel rules. So there is still development there.

  141. I wonder if they moved the same guy who did pit-stops to re-fueling.

    1. Nick.UK (@)
      13th May 2012, 0:27

      HAHAHAHA! God, imagine the shame!

    2. bottom line is trying to maximize pole position winning possibility by being stingy or careless with fuel is a daft any case the fuel handler should have noticed immediately and therefore alerted the team to tell Hamilton to abort the mighty pole position run and cruise back to the pits…NOW..don’t these cars have some sort of fuel gauges to guide the driver as well?

  142. I found this decision to be highly strange. Yes, I’m a Hamilton fan and I did expect some kind of penalty but this seems really harsh. The only other time someone has been sent to the back of the grid like this was Schumacher in 2006 when he parked it at Monaco .

    Now consider Schumacher’s penalty against Barrichello in Hungary in 2010 – a 10 place penalty. So apparently what Hamilton did (which wasn’t his fault at all!) is worse that what Schumacher did to Barrichello! Likewise when people have been found guilty of causing accidents – 10 places. The decision to send Hamilton to the back just baffles me.

  143. I was expecting a 10-place grid penalty – kinda like sending him to the back of the Q3 line (because he only gained his competitive advantage in Q3). Sending him to the back was rather too harsh, IMO. But it does send a very strong warning to the teams to make sure this never happens again. If there’s one thing the FIA has never looked too kindly on, it’s underweight cars.

    1. i doubt if Hamiltons car was going to be below the 620 kg limit rule even after stopping at turn four thereabouts.
      in this case they are punishing the effect of under fuelling and stopping car from arriving at perc ferme

      1. Ah, good point. I should’ve made that distinction clearer.

  144. So my guess of Lewis getting pole with a 01:21.783 is kaput!

    1. gosh its past 1 am…going to bed now…..

  145. I’m massively gutted about this but what I’m thinking is that if Hamilton goes on to win this race now from dead last against all the odds and against all the bad luck and horrible mistakes by Mclaren It would be the greatest victory ever. C’mon Lewis, anyone can win from the front, but winning from the back, that’s what makes legends. It’s time to become a legend.

    1. Historically, I don’t think anyone’s ever won outside of the first two rows here – never mind the back. He’ll need a very good drive just to score a point.

      1. Villneuve, 1981, won and wasn’t on the 1st row.
        But yeah, it will be extremely difficult for Lewis on the dry.

  146. urbanspaceman
    13th May 2012, 1:10

    Absolutely disgraceful decision. At the very least they could have dropped him down to 10th but to send him to the back of the grid is so unnecessarily harsh; hardly a surprise that this great benefits a Ferrari driver. Completely ruined tomorrow’s race.

  147. Sam Michael went from Williams to McLaren and Williams have improved and McLaren are having shockers. Coincidence?

    1. i cant sleep…who is this Sam Michael?

      1. The ιdiοt that thought saying “we just put low fuel is a not a low fuel run” was actually a valid argument.

  148. Did this not happen to alonso either last year or 2010. And then he hitched a ride from Webber? Does anyone remember which race weekend it was and where? And I don’t believe Alonso was penalized. Was the rule made after this?

    1. It was Nurburgring 2011, if I recall.
      Happened after the race, which does not fall under the same rule.

  149. Whitmarsh, it’s time to go

    1. Yeah but hang on. Whitmarsh can’t be responsible for the human errors or accidents such as wheel nuts not going on properly or the fuel guy not selecting the fuel in setting.

      1. Yup he is responsible for everything that happens in the team!!!!

      2. He in charge of the team and therefore responsible for the actions of the team. Its all about leadership, you take credit for the team’s success and take blame for their failures

  150. I think people are being harsh on Mclaren for the wrong reasons.

    Yes there have been lots of team errors but the team errors are those of a human error or an accident made by individuals.

    This is to say that the management or strategy calls by Mclaren have been ok excluding good old hindsight et al. The car is brilliant and no one should complain about driving for Mclaren this year.

    You can’t ever stop human error, people, individuals make human errors and have accidents. The wheel nut is not Mclaren as a teams its not a systemic mistake, it’s an accident. The refuelling in this case was claimed to be a human error/accident by a team member switching the lever the wrong way or the wrong setting.

    Cluster theory and all that says that events happens evenly spread out in groups and clusters. So it just looks like its happening a lot at a certain period but isn’t really.

    1. Or is all the bad luck Mclaren are having just bad karma for the dirty money they have from the Bahranii royal family. Bahrain royals owns Mclranes soul. Lol.

    2. Possibly true, but we need stats to confirm. I think the bigger issue is that McLaren had been dropping the ball everytime the race is on the line. They as a team have taken their drivers out of contention. If you look at the other teams you will see almost faultless performance when it is needed.

      And btw, how does a wheelnut issue happen in two races….surely you check or replace the equipment? Or perhaps the gun operator should practice till he is faultless?

      I am by no stretch of the imagination a McLaren supporter, but I also hate seeing good drivers impeded by poor teamwork.

  151. As Lewis pulled over I thought he would be penalized.. I am just surprised the “SPEED” channel commentators did not say anything about it! I think Maldonado won’t hold p1 on for more than 3 laps,. IF it does not rain,. I’m not a Pirelli fan anymore.

  152. As many others have already stated here, it is also my opinion that Hamilton’s penalty has been too harsh. A 10 grid penalty would have been more than enough.

    1. plus a fine to McLaren. I agree. Really bad day for F1 imho. smh.

  153. I’ve worked out the:

    * Perfect Q3 Qualifying Strategy*

    Head out on an illegaly light load at the start or midpoint of the session – so light you are barely able to return to the pits yet unnotticable by anyone. ACT LIKE YOU PLAN TO DO ANOTHER RUN – refuel (with enough for outlap, fast lap and inlap), change tyres etc. If another run is required then go for it – else stay put and then the stewards cant deduce you were under fuelled earlier? Easy, disgusting but easy… How many times has this occured already..

    God I wish F1 could be clean..

    1. one lap = 2.5kg of fuel that equates to around 1/10second.
      Hamilton was 5/10 secs up on Maldanardo. fuel weight was not an advantage.

      Cant help think of the BMW fuel irregularity at Brazil 07.

      1. I wasn’t implying it was done to give Hamilton an advantage – I was simply suggesting a way that a team could get away with running light – hell they could even try to get away with using an exotic fuel..

  154. Any other driver would have got a 10 place grid penalty.

  155. I’ve never been so un-excited for a GP.

  156. Some kind of penalty is understandable and probably deserved given the rules. But this kind of punishment is over the top.

    If anything, Hamilton’s Q3 time should have been deleted, nothing more. Meaning that he would then start from 10th.

  157. This is just the politics of F1.

    Hamilton moved to back of grid is a better headline than Hamilton pole.

    But Mclaren are a team grasping defeat from the jaws of victory, this cannot go on, look at Button saying to Hes team `You work it out`.

    If heads dont roll then the drivers will, to other teams that know how to measure fluids in the tank and fecking change wheels in under 10 seconds.

    1. c’mon Hamilton fans, get your whining done and get on with having some belief. You all starting to sound like schumacher fans :) Lewis now has the opportunity to come from dead last and prove to the world just how good he is. Its a good script and will be good to watch (hold your breath when he comes in behind Massa!)

      hopefully he’s learnt a thing or 2 about patience & about being in the right frame of mind when things out of your control dont go your way. Whining and sulking was yesterday. Harsh penalty it was but today its about getting on with it

      1. i said it earlier but…. Where do you think he will finish after they balls up hes pit stops… Lewis will not be wearing Mclaren coulors next year…

  158. f1azzer (@)
    13th May 2012, 5:33

    Thinking to myself after watching Qualy that I should comment with my opinion that the management have something to answer for. I come on the forum here and am amazed at all the fans who are like-minded, so am just adding my agreement. Management must take the blame for the catalogue of errors and misjudgments, and that includes not helping Hammy to get over his emotional problems last season. And let’s not forget Jenson here also. How can this team of engineers not get his car balanced in Spain with the time and expertise at their disposal??.

  159. Follow the rules and all this rage becomes unnecessary.

    Rule was drafted after HAMILTON and MCLAREN did exactly the same thing in Canada 2010. Teach them a lesson for sure.

    Alonso must be cracking up. He’s really starting to think, I may not have the best car, but I am sorrounded by such a bunch of jokers, RBR not even bothering to have a go, after setting 16 poles just last season, I can stay in the champioship fight all year.

  160. Whitmarsh ‘GET A GRIP MAN!!!’This is no way to run a F1 team.

  161. I’m a huge Mclaren fan but they shouldn’t expect to get away with stupid stunts like these. The worse is when Whitmarsh denied that is was a fuel issue when he knew it was!

    Maybe they’ve moved the guy who couldn’t get the left rear nuts on to fueling :-)

  162. Of all countries it had to happen in, it had to be Spain..

  163. The STEWARDS can continuously OVERPUNISH Lewis all they want. They can’t take away the man’s talent.

  164. who is really surprised that this has happened under Twitmarsch watch? the most ridiculous part of it is Sam Michael claiming force majeure! force majuere? does he even knows what force majuere means? Mclaren always seems to be a team that don’t have the confidence whenever they go before the steward. they cant argue their point forcefully and confidently like a team Ferrari does. Not that i think they could have won the argument by using force majeure but they just seems to want to be Mr nice guy under the leadership of Mr Whitless but failing appalingly.

  165. I knew it the second Hamilton stopped on track. However, the commenators barely noticed it, never mind drawing conclusions from it.
    However, I thought they were going to delete his Q3 time, making him start 10th, not 24th.

  166. Vettel had a similar incident in Abu Dhabi

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