Maldonado penalty promotes Alonso to seventh

2012 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Pastor Maldonado has been given a ten-place grid penalty after missing the weigh bridge during qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Maldonado was given a reprimand for the incident. As this was his third reprimand of the year, he automatically received a ten place grid penalty. He is the first driver to receive a penalty for picking up three reprimands.

Maldonado’s penalty drops him from sixth to sixteenth on the grid. Nico Hulkenberg moves up to sixth in his place.

Significantly from the point of view of the championship, Fernando Alonso will now start from seventh, three places behind championship rival Sebastian Vettel.

2012 Brazilian Grand Prix

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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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71 comments on “Maldonado penalty promotes Alonso to seventh”

  1. *Facepalm* Oh Maldonado!
    You’re such a penalty magnet, it’s verging on impressive!

    1. He should play footy for England, we are in need of a penalty expert :)

  2. Is there a list of all his penalties?

  3. So with Grosjean and Maldonado in the back, we should at least see a safe start of the race.

    1. In the front yes, but Schumi might have a short last race like DC did back in 2008.

      1. @jan1 Oh God I hope not. It’s sad enough to see any driver bowing out of F1 – let’s hope we don’t see that (a lap 1 incident taking out a retiring driver) again!

    2. I see this kind of comment about Maldonado a lot, but for all his past indiscretions, how many first lap accidents has he had this season, and more importantly (given that blaming him for Spa would be a huge stretch), how many have actually been his fault?

  4. That shouldn’t be a bad news for Alonso! Still long way to go though.

  5. It’s unbelievable how absolutely everything falls Alonso’s way almost every race…

    How much luck can a driver have in one season?

    1. Well, not so sure since he was put out of race two times…maybe one in Spa

      1. Suzuka was Alonsos fault

    2. We’ll find out tomorrow, won’t we

    3. Alonso has the enviable luck of driving a car that is the class of the field.

      1. @ginola14
        I doubt he’d agree with you there: he’s started most races on the third row of the grid or lower and has only started five races on the front two rows – that doesn’t sound like the performance you’d expect from someone with a car that is the class of the field.

        1. Ironic comment?

        2. @beneboy That was meant to be sarcastic.

          1. If so then I apologise unreservedly.
            Sometimes it’s difficult to tell when people are being sarcastic or seriously believe some of the things they write.

      2. @ginola14

        Be as sarcastic as you want.

        When you’ve got the third fastest car but the two faster cars constantly retire with mechanical failures than you’ve got the best car.

        We’re now seeing how good Alonso really is. Beaten by Massa in qualy twice in a row and last race Massa’s pace was a lot better as well.

        Ferrari would like people to think they’ve got a dog of a car that only Alonso can drive. I’m not buying it.

    4. I’m pretty sure, if someone went out of their way to do it, it would be possible to find a world champion or runner-up with more cases of luck in a season.

      As always, getting lucky is one thing, actually benefiting from it is something else.

      1. Well, things didn’t exactly go his way in Canada, Belgium or Italy. Regarding that, he also has had to drive the third best car this season.

    5. Some of the best luck I’ve ever seen in the course of one whole season.

      For instance, at Silverstone he was so close to hitting the barrier in qualifying after losing control – an unluckier driver would have hit it.

      1. Well, if it wasn’t for Grosjean in Spa, he would still be leading the championship, so I don’t think he was that lucky actually.

        1. @brace

          He was pretty lucky in Valencia – SC, then passing Hamilton in the pit then alternator failure on the Redbull for the win. Without that SC and alternator failures he finishes 4th. And don’t forget, Karthikayen took out Vettel in Malayia. That’s racing though, the racing gods giveth, and the racing gods taketh away.

          Regardless, at the end of the day he’s got one of the hottest GFs on the grid ;)

          1. Well I don’t see how McLaren’s slow pitstop or RedBull’s bad reliability is good or bad luck. It would be like saying, Red Bull and McLaren were very lucky this year because Ferrari’s wind tunnel was not working properly.
            It’s their car that failed. It’s not some divine intervention. It’s the car they made, and they didn’t make it good enough in terms of reliability.

            And if you wanna bring SC into it, I’d say that Vettel only won 2010 title because of SC, but hey, it’s all part of F1. Ill timed SC can be good or bad luck, but in Valencia it was pretty much out when it didn’t benefit anyone in particular regarding pitstop windows.

          2. well then I guess you couldn’t say that Grojean taking him out in Spa was “unlucky”. Stuff happens and statistically it’s bound to happen to everyone on the grid at some time.

            The only thing a driver can do is maximize as much as possible what is given to him. Alonso has done that. Vettel has also done that. So too Kimi and Lewis. And the result of all of that is Vettel 13 points up on Alonso with one race to play for. Overall I’d say each driver made one points costing mistake each — Vettel in Germany passing Button off track though I’m sure it was a 50/50 call (if his alternator hadn’t failed again, I’d say Italy and the penalty he got for pushing Alonso wide would have been considered a second mistake), and Alonso in Japan pushing Kimi off track thinking Kimi would just disappear. (Surprisingly uncharacteristic of Alonso to be so aggressive like that, imho).

            In this regards, both have been pretty equal all year (as have been Lewis and Kimi, both of who have probably been more consistently error free than Alonso and Vettel).

      2. i personally rate this season for Fernando as one of the unluckiest ever for him.

        1. @brace

          For instance, at Silverstone he was so close to hitting the barrier in qualifying after losing control – an unluckier Less skilled driver would have hit it.

          Fixed that for you. :)

          I think you also forgot the fact that Ferrari skewed up his strategy in the race, which he should have won. That’s not very lucky either, is it?

          1. Had nothing to do with skill – he was a complete passenger before the car gained sufficient traction just before the barrier.

            In that very same qualifying he was lucky even to make to Q3 – he was outside the top ten until race control decided to red-flag it, after which the conditions improved allowing him to progress.

    6. Sterling Archer
      25th November 2012, 4:00

      I think regardless of who the luckiest driver has been this season, we can all agree that the unluckiest one was Lewis Hamilton.

  6. Now put Massa back too :P

    1. @wackyracer lol he’ll be starting on pole soon.

    2. Not long now until tomorrow morning when will Ferrari confirm this and we’ll all be rightly outraged

        1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
          24th November 2012, 21:18

          @keithcollantine they can deny it today, but tomorrow, who knows?

          1. @omarr-pepper That would be quite a U-turn. We’ll see but for the time being I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt.

        2. @keithcollantine Yes I’m sure they’d get charged for enticing a riot..
          But in the race how far do you expect them to go? Obviously it wouldn’t be like Germany ’10, but I’m sure making Massa move out of the way will still upset probably every fan there.

    3. Now we need to punish six other drivers and there you go, Fernando!!!!

  7. strange because one driver (i forgot who it was), i think in the last race or abu dhabi missed the call and wasn’t penalized…it was webber abu dhabi i think

    1. Tom Haxley (@)
      24th November 2012, 19:19

      Maldonado was given a reprimand for the incident. As this was his third reprimand of the year, he automatically received a ten place grid penalty.

      It’s all in the article

      1. It’s all in the article


        1. Exactly.


          1. @raymondu999


            For sure.

          2. Obviously

          3. @pielighter
            “For sure.”
            I’m not so sure.

    2. @ibra – contrary to all of the comments above your question isn’t made clear in the article at all (unless you already know the answer in which case I doubt you would have asked), so it may be more helpful to you if I explain rather than queuing up to add nothing.

      Both Webber and Maldonado were in fact given the same punishment for missing the weighbridge- a reprimand. Maldonado’s grid drop was only because it happened to be his third reprimand this season. So the grid drop is actually, in one sense, punishment for three crimes and not just missing the weighbridge.

      1. @jerseyf1 I disagree, having read the article it’s entirely possible to realise why Maldonado received a penalty and Webber didn’t. Particularly as it states he was the first driver to receive a penalty for collecting three reprimands.

        1. What I find a bit disturbing about this one @keithcollantine, is that when they announced the system of having 3 reprimands equal a penalty, is that at the time the FIA pointed at the fact that this would only go for reprimands that have to do with the driving (and not ones for missing press conferences or even speeding, if I remember right).

          Therefor for me its questionable whether this penalty, for something that is only very slightly connected to driving behaviour really fits that thought.

          Off course the fact that missing the weight bridge can mean avoiding a check on regularity of the equipment means the FIA cannot take missing them lightly. But as this was a bit of an odd one in the middle of qualifying it means a reprimand or monetary penalty is probably the right way to deal with it.

  8. Fair enough. I guess it’s a little unfortunate and I do feel a bit for Pastor, but the rules are obvious so there’s no other option here.

    1. The implementation of this rule considering time left of the session and his speed(far from fast) at the time is just pointless.

      Stewarts should have given themselves a reprimand for this.

  9. He is the first driver to receive a penalty for picking up three reprimands.


    1. Is there an achievement for this in F1 2012 game?

      1. @neiana “Maldonado Mode: Unlocked”

  10. The 2012 Race Stewards have been welly and truly Pastor Maldonado’d.

  11. Ligia Magalhães
    24th November 2012, 20:46

    FIA = Ferrari Inconditional Aid

    1. Not a bit of it. This was an open-and-shut case. Maldonado got exactly the punishment he should have and exactly the penalty determined by the rules. Accusing the FIA of doing it to help Ferrari is complete nonsense. (Also, ‘inconditional’ is not a word, so your acronym doesn’t work).

      1. @keithcollantine
        Yes , the decision is clear and fair BUT the first action calling Maldonado to the weigh bridge is a little suspicious taking into account the timing it was happened. As i read from somebody else, here in the comments, if he went to the bridge he wouldn’t had enough time to put his last fast lap in this session. Is this true?

        1. @cosmas Cars can be randomly called into the weigh bridge at any time so there’s nothing unfair about that.

          1. @keithcollantine
            If it happens in the last minute your’re going out for you final run that decides your grid position and you are forced to abandon your effort for something that could be done earlier then although it is legal IMHO it is unfair. Why couldn’t they weight him earlier? or later?

          2. A bit surprised by the timing, too. However, Keith is absolutely right:

          3. @cosmas It has to be done at random so that teams don’t know when their cars are going to be checked, otherwise they might try to run their cars in an illegal specification, e.g. underweight.

          4. “Maybe the light was completely red when I crossed it”, admits Maldonado (in Autosport). I love the idea that a light can be only slightly red.

          5. @cosmas

            If it happens in the last minute your’re going out for you final run that decides your grid position and you are forced to abandon your effort for something that could be done earlier then although it is legal IMHO it is unfair.

            Isn’t the weigh bridge at the beginning of the pit lane meaning that they get called in on their way back to the pits at the end of their run, not as they’re on their way out of the pits ?

  12. Alonso finds his way again to the right side of the track….and without needing his team mate to loose any place. He is AGAIN so LUCKY , not for the one place he gained but because he has a better chance for overtaking in the start from the outside as he did in Austin.

  13. I say he was kidnapped by Montezemolo…:P

  14. Failed to bring his car for weigh in when asked to do so by the stewards? *** is going on?! Does this kinda thing happen often?

  15. People cannot claim Ferrari favouritism here. And if they are, they’re talking as much B/S as football fans when they speak of “Fergie time”. Maldonado was clearly asked to pull over to the weigh bridge. It can happen any time during any practice session (which includes qualifying). He failed to do so, and therefore recieved his third reprimand of the year, which in many books means a penalty (i.e. three strikes and your out).

    Next conspiracy story please?

    1. If they called Alonso (as they did Maldonado) at the very end of Q2 and he had to abandon his last effort , meaning he did not manage to pass to Q3 would you still have the same opinion about the rules? Would it then maybe be a conspiracy?
      Rules are rules and everybody most comply to them BUT the human factor and judgement from the stewards should have a bigger weight that what currently is . I mean why to we need them if in every incident they apply the rule by the letter. They should judge the seriousness of every incident and the severeness of the penalty applied. What would be wrong if they weighted Maldonado after his last effort , his weight would be less then before so it wouldn’t be cheating, the contrary it would be more marginally to comply with the minimum weight.
      Anyway, maybe maldonado should be more careful since he had already two reprimands.

  16. I’m not sure about the communication Williams had with Stewards during that time. But this is silly.

    A drying track, everyone is busy to follow the track development and no fast times are set. Maldonado was not the fastest out of there and with so little time to go while tracks improves several tenths a lap, bringing him in and by that destroying his qualifying is just wrong by stewards.

    1. why carn’t the stewards just tell the team the driver is needed for the weight check while he is on his lap,so when he pits the team can tell the driver.Would save a lot of hassle.

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