Raikkonen excluded from qualifying, will start last

2013 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Kimi Raikkonen has been excluded from qualifying after his Lotus failed a floor deflection test.

He will be allowed to start the race from the back of the grid.

The stewards considered video and telemetry evidence and invited Lotus to explain why it had failed the test. The stewards noted Lotus’s justification for the part failing was that “the relevant part broke upon contact with a kerb”.

But the stewards added they “did not accept that the incident referred to constituted an accident, or excused failing the relevant test”.

Raikkonen’s floor was found to transgress article 3.17.5 of the technical regulations because it “deflected more than 5mm vertically when the load was applied vertically to it at the point which lies 100mm of car centre line on the left-hand side”.

The rule which was broken states: “Bodywork may deflect no more than 5mm vertically when a 2000N load is applied vertically to it at three different points which lie on the car centre line and 100mm either side of it.”

Team mate Romain Grosjean’s car failed the same test at the Hungarian Grand Prix, however on that occasion the stewards accepted the team’s explanation that the damage was caused accidentally.

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Image © Lotus/LAT

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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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102 comments on “Raikkonen excluded from qualifying, will start last”

  1. Pretty much as expected. If a car fails to comply with the rules in qualifying, generally it’s started from the back of the grid, (HAM Spain 2012, VET at this very same track last year).

    1. Well, Raikkonen’s fanboys below don’t seem to be accepting that, regardless of the fact that the rules are the same for everyone

  2. Unfair :(

    1. @malik How? If your car fails scrutineering, it’s not legal. Exclusion from qualifying is the standard penalty (think Vettel last year, or the over-flexible Toyota wings at Melbourne in 2009).

      1. @Red Andy: I meant that it was the team fault not Raikkonen. I think stripping the team of points scored by Raikkonen’s car would be more fair. Now the chances that Raikkonen will win is going to be very slim which is unfortunate :(

        1. But Raikkonen still potentially benefited from having an illegal car. It would be very unfair to allow him to keep that benefit just because he wasn’t personally responsible for the car being illegal. That said, if the floor really did fail the test because he hit a kerb too hard with it, then it is his fault anyway. There isn’t really any way you can justify not penalising the driver in this case, even if you were to treat driver and team as separate entities, which doesn’t generally happen.

          1. @Red andy: I totally respect your opinion but in Hungary 2007 the stewards penalised the team McLaren and Alonso’s penalty (5-grid) was not that harsh

          2. @malik That was not a technical infringement so it doesn’t bear comparison with this.

          3. @malik I deliberately used the word “generally” because there are occasions when it hasn’t happened (Spygate being the most obvious one). But in most cases the driver is not treated separately to the team, and there’s no real reason why they should be. Think about it the other way – if a driver jumps the start and gets a drive-through penalty, the team suffers even though it is solely the driver that is at fault.

          4. @Keithcollantine: I still believe that if it was other driver, the penalty will no be that harsh. Example: when Hamilton and Alonso were championship contenders and McLaren cars have advantage by spying on Ferrari, McLaren was penalized while the drivers were allowed to keep their points. Politics…

          5. @malik Which driver it was is also irrelevant to this discussion. Raikkonen has been sent to the back of the grid because his car failed a technical inspection. The incident you are describing did not involve a car failing a technical inspection, it doesn’t matter if it was driven by Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton or Perry McCarthy.

          6. @keithcollantine: I have changed my mind. The decision was fair, but still HARSH

          7. @red-andy – Agreed. I’ve always thought drivers getting punished to what mistakes or deliberate actions their teams have done, even with the driver not taking part, is completely justified. Though, saying it was his fault because he drove over kerb is a bit of a stretch (I mean it might be, in a sense, but he simply couldn’t have known beforehand that a complete normal way of driving an F1 car could break it), and also that he could’ve benefited from the broken floor (if it was broken, that is, but generally speaking if something is broken it’s not usually to your benefit) doesn’t seem likely.

          8. Its consistent with last years penalties handed to Hamilton and Vettel.

        2. First of all – its the team that builds the car, and its a team effort. The car is not OK, so the lap is annuled, nothing unfair with that. Otherwise we should compensate teams for times when their drivers get penalties in the race too @malik?. Compare it to horse racing and the horse is found to have been doped – in that case the whole entry (horse and rider) get DSQ too.

        3. @malik I love when this sort of thing happen and it’s “unfair”.

          Same with Hamilton running out of fuel at Barcelona this year.

          Everything is unfair these days… there’s a set of rules to follow…

          1. @fer -no65: I changed my mind :)
            It was fair :)

    2. @malik A rule was broken, and a consistent penalty was given. Nothing about this was unfair. Unforunate, sure, but not unfair.

      1. @silence: I agree that a rule was broken but it was not Raikkonen fault

        1. @malik But he benefited grom it. You can’t separate the driver from the car when it suits you.

          1. @silence: I fully respect your point, but I do feel sad :(

      2. If only these kind of comments would appear for example when Hamilton gets a such penalty. But they don’t. When it’s Hamilton, we get pages and pages of comments of how unfair and inconsistent the decision by the stewards was, but when it’s Kimi, it suddenly couldn’t be any more justified.
        disclaimer: I, myself, think that in both situations, the decision (to penalize the driver) is the right one to make

    3. So we have a mind changer here, good luck @malik

      1. @noob: I don’t find it embarrassing to admit that I was wrong :)

        1. @malik Dude, take your own stand, don’t be influenced by others comments, be it anybody… Nothing is black and white here… Hope you get what I am trying to say

          1. @noob: I reiterate: I don’t find it embarrassing to be influenced by others comments if their point is true :)

        2. @malik Never heard that before on here! Exceptional lack of ego!

          1. @splittimes: I am trying to learn from Vettel :)

    4. @malik It’s a TEAM sport mate.

    5. If Kimi had illegal active suspension, traction control and whatever else we had 20 years ago, should he keep his points? An illegal car is an illegal car, no matter what.

  3. Set-up changes then? What was Lotus’ top speed like?

    1. terrible

    2. Bottom of the charts. But for him to stand a chance of having a goof result, the team certainly will have to make set up changes so that he can fight his way up the traffic during the race.

    3. They were the slowest on Friday, I think we can expect Lotus to play with the settings.

    4. @vettel1 starting from the pitlane is now the bet, I suppose.

      I predicted Kimi for a podium finish… starts last, as expected :P

      1. @fer-no65 – And I picked Kimi for the win, LOL. That’s OK, another challenge to make this an interesting race. Hopefully a pit lane start with different settings will give him a good chance for points and maybe even a podium.

  4. oops. I hope we are not still under investigation with going out of track limits, as both RBR were outside of them during their hot laps (not sure whether Rosberg wasn’t too)

    1. @BasCB Haven’t heard of anyone else being summoned to see the stewards, so I would assume they are overlooking all the various track limit infringements.

      1. I guess that is good @red-andy, although when they say they will be punishing it and then about half the drivers still do it, you would think they would make some kind of point about it.

        1. Does seem very inconsistent @BasCB. Though as others have said elsewhere, the simplest solution would be to redesign the runoff areas so that they don’t provide an advantage when you drive onto them. That doesn’t excuse the stewards for not doing what they said they were going to do, though.

          1. Indeed, the worst thing one can do is to declare a firm stance will be taken before qualifying and then fail to follow up on it @red-andy. Personally I would be fine with the stewards annuling all times that were set while going off track, even if that meant that Hamilton would get pole, with Hulk on the first row and VdGarde and Chilton in the second row (for example).

            But on the other hand its crazy that we have to wait for what 3 hours after qualifying for the grid still not to be set in stone

    2. @bascb, I didn’t see qualifying, but I did see some of the GP3 qualifying, and there the stewards were very quick (like within a minute, still during the session) to take away a lap from Sainz who marginally put all four wheels over the white line at the final corner. Perhaps the stewards are a little more hesitant in handing out these penalties in F1.

      1. The support categories have different stewards to F1 as GP2/GP3 & Porsche Supercup are not FIA world championship categories (Hence why they don’t have there champions crowned at the FIA gala).

  5. If I were Lotus’ Twitteraccount, I’d go ahead and brace myself for the “le kimi is 2 good 4 u, if u no pay, give him good car” hatemail…

  6. Bit fishy bearing in mind Kimis recent threats towards the team.

    1. I had the same thoughts too :)

    2. @davef1 Given that Lotus are fighting for second in the constructors’ championship, they’d be colossally stupid to sabotage one of their cars, no matter how objectionable they find the bloke driving it.

      1. @red-andy – My first thought was that Raikkonen may have sabotaged his own lap as a pithy form of revenge. Although that was until I found out the failure was caused by a technical issue.

    3. @davef1 Yeah, the best way for Lotus to convice Kimi to race for them (which they are trying desperately) is to sabotage his car. Because that totally makes sense, right?

      1. @red-andy @silence

        Oh I agree that Lotus would not sabotage Kimi’s car at all, especially considering the money situation they’re in and the points they get towards the constructors. All I was doing making the observation that it’s quiet odd that the same weekend that Kimi makes threat towards his team, his car is found illegal. It wouldn’t be the first time a a driver has been given a clip around the ear to remind them who employs who but as I said before its probably just a coincidence.

  7. Is there a chance that Kimi won’t bother starting the race now, given his recent threats?

    1. @mwahahaha If he doesn’t his image will take a huge blow

    2. I think Kimi likes this situation in a way, he get’s to do a lot of racing.

    3. If he doesn’t, Screw him. Put Valsecchi in the car.

  8. Ah, that’s not the way I want to see a driver penalized, but fair enough.
    On another note, this is the second time Lotus was caught up with the same infringement, should it mean they were doing it pretty much all the time?

    1. @caci99

      should it mean they were doing it pretty much all the time?

      Think a bit more carefully before posting. They weren’t caught up on a random test, but on a standard test that’s done every single race.

      Kinda illogical to suggest they were doing it “all the time” if they have passed all tests besides those two.

      1. @silence That’s why it has a question mark at the end of the sentence. It is a question not a suggestion. Think a bit more before accusing.

        1. @caci99 You don’t have too many conversations in real life, do you? ;P

  9. Start from the pit lane with a few setup changes and Kimi might be able to so a Sebastian Vettel, Abu Dhabi 2012, or a Kimi Raikkonen, Suzuka 2005.

    That’d be just grand.

    1. @spud He could realistically try doing a Grosjean, India 2013.

      1. That’d be just fine and dandy also. (Hadn’t intended on overlooking RoGro there)

        1. @spud how about RoGr

  10. So:

    Last year, Vettel excluded from qualifying, changed the setup of the car for the race.
    Today, Raikkonen excluded from qualifying.

    Question: Are they allowed to change the setup of the car on Kimi’s car since RB did this with Vettel last year?

    1. If he is to start from pitlane rather than back of the grid

    2. Yes – they can take the car out of parc ferme, make whatever changes they like, and start the car from the pit lane.

      1. Since the car is not compliant with rules and damaged Lotus SHOULD take it out of the parc ferme and repair. So the start from the pit lane is the only solution for them.
        But for me Lotus smells of sabotage.

        1. It would be great to hear the argument for what Lotus would gain by sabotaging their own car. Please enlighten.

          Though I would still like to see a response, I can say that Lotus have more to lose than Kimi does by sabotaging their own car. They desperately need to finish as high as possible in the WCC standings for the prize money to be gained. The only purpose served by sabotaging Kimi’s Lotus for this race or any other would be extremely childish at best.

          Oh, by the way, I am a Kimi fan and have been for his entire F1 career.

          1. Not paying one of the world’s top drivers for the whole season is not childish but just plain stupid.
            We only heard some brief heated exchange between Kimi and Permane but I can only imagine what Kimi and Lotus management had said to each other behind the closed doors. If Permane so easily loses his tempers in minor racing situation, sabotage can be fuelled by the blind rage.
            BTW I’m a big fan of Kimi too and conspiracy theories as well. :-)
            Epic justice – Kimi wins and Boullier brings bags full of cash to the podium.
            Tears of joy, everybody embrace, Lotus clinches WCC 2nd place blah blah blah.

        2. I don’t agree on the sabotage part . the higher they finish in WCC , the more money they get . Simple .

  11. so two different outcomes for the same circumstances (here and hungary)

    1. @8l23ub But they’re not the same circumstances: after Hungary they knew they had a potential vulnerability on the car and should have fixed it.

  12. Two things: this will be a blessing in disguise because now Lotus can effect further set-up changes they had in mind, also his straight line will be the fastest by quite a bit.

    Second thing, the stewards SUCK. They r the worst at being consistent. Regardless whether a curb broke the floor or not, give a penalty. They pick and choose who to inspect, FIA is wrong for giving them more power

    1. I’m pretty confident it isn’t a blessing in disguise – why would Lotus rather make setup changes than start 5th. If they’d wanted a race car with fastest straight line speed they could probably have done that and still put the car in the top 10.

      As for your argument that the stewards should be more consistent by NOT penalising a driver who they found to be in an illegal car – that really doesn’t hold much sway.

      1. It’s probalby not a blessing no…

        on your other notion though, scuderia_fan never said that Rai wasn’t supposed to get a penalty, but that Gro had the same situation earlier this year and that did not warrant a penalty…
        that is weird and wrong, and it really shpuld be one or the other not both when the stewards feel like it

      2. now I saw some earlier posts where it was argued that the driver should get no penalty… I don’t agree with that but I still think they set a presedent when this same situation happened the last time, albeit with Gro

        1. they said the stewards penalized Lotus because they let off Grosjean with the same excuse. so my thing is did the stewards REALLY examine all the evidence or soon as they heard that…said nope, wont fly twice. Im sure if they did LOOK, they could see that a piece was broken and obviously was the fault. Abu Dhabi stewards r gonna take a lot of flak from this from EVERYONE.

      3. Thats the thing about blessings in disguise, its not planned…

        1. @scuderia_fan85 How on Earth is starting last a blessing? What possibly could Raikkonen/Lotus win from all this?

          1. yow don’t comment on my thread if u r that much of a fool

  13. A bit disappointing. Lotus was supposed to be a challenger for pole and the victory. Grosjean had some problems, Raikkonen is now at the back of the grid.
    Anyway, I hope we are going to see a great recovery drive from Kimi. He has the pace to do it.

  14. Does Alonso still has the choice for his tyres tomorrow?

    1. Yes, he can still chose his tyres compound.

  15. Alonso now lies P10: dirty side of the track, no tyre choice. Closest rival sent to the back but still… Don’t know if he is happy with this :)

    1. This confuses me @spoutnik and @xenomorph91 … can he chose his tyres compound or not? ^^’

      1. @spoutnik @paeschli
        I believe he still “officially” qualified 11th and therefore has choice of tires.

      2. @spoutnik @paeschli
        Yes he can choose his tyres, only the guys in Q3 are locked into the tyres they ran (unless Rai starts from the pits).

        1. @george right its all about setting a time in Q3, thanks

    2. I think he still has a tyre choice because he was eliminated in Q2.

      1. He certainly doesn’t have a time set in Q3 where he will have to use the tyres he did that with @deej92, @paeschli, @spoutni as you say @beeijs60!

    3. Thx everyone :)

  16. I’m sorry for Kimi… but the regulations are meant to be respected by everybody. Lotus escaped a penalty already, but it did not happen this time too… and it’s their fault indeed. If their car is the only 1 with a such problem, it’s proof enough they did something wrong. Was it done on purpose OR just a mistake, it doesn’t matter. Maybe it was lowered more than should have been, maybe it failed the “rigidity test”. Either way, Lotus is at fault. And what matters is that the car doesn’t meet the regulations. Fair enough in my opinion.

  17. I have always felt that Kimmi has been purposefully ignored by the F1 Journalistic circus why? who knows!
    Perhaps because ‘Kimmi don’t play that way’!

    1. More like Raikkonen has purposefully ignored the media circus.

      He’s very popular, the media wins nothing by ignoring him. He’s just a relatively private person.

  18. Raikkonen fans! Keep calm and remember Suzuka 2005!

  19. I want to stay away from conspiracy theories, but Lotus-Raikkonen has been having a lot of problems lately.

    1. you want to stay away, yet you make such a comment

  20. My first thoughts on Raikkonen’s penalty are ones of suspicion. After the events of last weekend, followed by Kimi’s threats not to race, then turning up a day late, one has to think that this is Lotus’ way of punishing the Finn.
    Some may scoff at this suggestion. How could Lotus, with still several grands prix to go, delibrately sabotage their driver in such a way? In short, very easily. I have never forgotten Ron Dennis’ words following the 2007 Chinese Grands Prix, that instead of racing the other drivers ‘we were racing Alonso’. The very man who Dennis was employing at the time and who was ‘racing’, apparently, for McLaren. To such a low had their relationship sunk, Ron was only interested in putting Fernando in his place after the events of Spygate and the Spaniards threats to tell the FIA all about it.
    Raikkonen, rightly or wrongly, has embarrassed Lotus in a very public way. In this they only have themselves to blame. Kimi was always a driver who could not be controlled, he does things his own way. In many ways, it amazes me that he lasted as long as he did at the sterile and dictatorial enviroment that is McLaren Mercedes. When you go against the team, as in other sports, you usually suffer the consequences.
    The events in India were not by any means something that happened over night. Alan Permane’s choice of language was pure frustration born out of the fact that Raikkonen does what he wants, when he wants. He belongs in a bye gone era the likes of James Hunt and Sir Jackie Stewart once thrived, not in the politically correct lovey dovey world of modern day F1.
    This man is not out to save the rain forest, he wants to drive flat out and enjoy life as a 34 year old playboy. In 2006 after retiring from the Monaco Grands Prix, Raikkonen did not return to the pits like 99% of the others. No, he went straight to a yacht in the harbour and celebrated life with a few mates and delicious looking females. The late James Hunt, a man Kimi has publicly admitted to admiring, would have been proud of that. He simply does not care!
    This devil may care attitude may make him popular with the fans, but I bet you it must get old with a team that has invested millions into a car and team. It must get old to the mechanics, who when they have a bad day can’t scamper off to a yacht to chat up a poopdeck full of hot looking blondes. The Finn may not be getting paid but he certainly is getting laid!

  21. MB (@muralibhats)
    3rd November 2013, 4:08

    Was so happy that my prediction of kimi for win would had been possible. If Kimi does win from the back… I would be doubly delighted. Looks not probable. Need lot of luck.

  22. I am 100% that if Vettel had taken similar penalty, most people would be cheering like little teenage girls

    1. I am 100% sure that if Vettel had taken similar penalty, most people would be cheering like little teenage girls

    2. He’s already won the championship. There’d be nothing worth cheering about.

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