Hamilton to start 20th after five-place grid penalty

2014 German Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton will start no higher than 20th on the grid for today’s German Grand Prix.

His Mercedes team confirmed his gearbox will need to be changed following his crash during qualifying yesterday, meaning he will incur a five-place penalty.

“We can confirm that Lewis Hamilton’s gearbox will be changed for the race owing to accident damage incurred yesterday,” the team announced on Twitter. “The guys are working on the car now to repair everything for the race.”

Hamilton originally qualified 16th after crashing due to a brake failure in qualifying, then was moved forward one place on the grid due to a penalty for Esteban Gutierrez.

Mercedes may still decide to make further set-up changes to Hamilton’s car, which could mean he starts from the pit lane instead.

Update: According to Mercedes Hamilton will start the race from 20th place and not the pit lane.

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Keith Collantine
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34 comments on “Hamilton to start 20th after five-place grid penalty”

  1. At the moment things go from bad to worse. But if it rains, could he start at the pitlane with a wet setup?

    1. Personally I’d start there anyway, he now starts 20th.

      Optimise the car for the race whether its dry or wet.

  2. Got to be a pit lane start then surely…?

  3. LotsOfControl (@for-unlawful-carnal-knowledge)
    20th July 2014, 8:56

    It doesn’t matter where he starts from. He’ll finish second easy.

    1. Given how close Bottas was to Rosberg’s pace in Q3, I somehow doubt that.

      Although a double DRS zone and high top speed from the Mercedes should obviously help.

      1. Quali pace race pace

        Look at Austria.

        1. Yes, Merc was faster in both there.

    2. Same thought here… HAM will finish at best first or at worst 2nd unless cornered with some DNF..

  4. Surely it’d be stupid to start anywhere other than the pitlane? The only two behind him if he started on the grid would be Chilton and Ericsson, and they won’t exactly be difficult to pass if he starts from the pitlane. Plus the team can do whatever they want (within reason) to the car, such as repairs and setup changes.

    1. Not necessarily so. If he makes another good start from 20th, he could be up to 15th or even higher after the first couple of corners. If he starts from the pitlane, there’s no hope of that.

      1. Annoyingly, if a car starts from the pitlane, the stewards don’t let them go until the pack has passed the entire 1st sector.

        1. Really I did not know that

        2. Not quite, I believe the pit lane starters aren’t released until the last car has reached the pit exit, not when the first sector has been completed.

        3. @kingshark
          if a car starts from the pitlane, the stewards don’t let them go until the pack has passed the entire 1st Corner.
          Fixed it for you

          1. @harsha
            I remember that Vettel wasn’t released in Abu Dhabi 2012 until Hamilton (the leader) crossed the 1st sector point, although I could be wrong.

          2. @kingshark
            Yas Marina has a reliatively short sector 1 so it will skew the Observation but nonetheless it wasn’t about car in P1 , It was about car in last place and when it crosses the First corner the Cars in pit lane will be released .

        4. wow you are so wrong @kingshark

      2. He can set his car up for ultimate race pace. He’d be better off starting from the pitlane imo.

    2. I agree 100%

    3. That is true. But starting from the grid means that he can gain 5-7 places in the first lap. On the other hand, he can finish race on that lap. So it is a difficult decision.
      I would start from the grid.

    4. Agreed. Why risk and start anywhere close to Maldonado in a tight pack?

  5. will certainly be a thriller i am betting, regardless of were he starts, just hope he doesn’t get taken out while passing the back markers,
    also depends on how much they show of him passing others as well, this is a German track remember,
    just finished watching a car in GP2 that started 16th which ended up winning, wasn’t until he was flying passed the pits and he had managed to claim first that we really got to see what an exceptional drive he had achieved,
    yeah Kiwi driver with nothing to loose, so why show him.

  6. Grid penalties for gearboxes and engines are totally unfair. The drivers are rarely at fault, so why should they suffer? Rather than punishing the driver, punish the constructor!

    1. Kevin (@illustrious)
      20th July 2014, 9:27

      You win as a team, you lose as a team. That’s just the way it goes.

      1. Yeah you can’t separate the driver from the team…he is nothing without the team. The team pays when the driver makes a mistake. That said, I don’t know that anybody would be bent out of shape if indeed they just penalized the team by docking them Constructor points for things reliability related.

  7. It is what it is. The sun really is shining on Nico this season. He’s getting the job done though too. Williams are a serious threat today.

    1. It’ll be interesting to see how close the Williams actually are to Nico though, in that I just wonder if Nico would have been faster in Q3 if he had been pushed by a healthy LH, and/or it would have at least been a Merc 1-2 on the grid, with either driver sitting on pole, and then would we really be considering either Williams a real threat. I wonder if NR’s side played it a bit conservative once they knew of LH’s woes.

  8. So, heavy rainstorms as the GP2 field headed out into the grid. That kind of weather might help Mercedes decide on a pit lane start. But if it gets dry at some point in the race – which is likely to happen as it appears there will be several short showers throughout the afternoon – Hamilton might be on the back foot again. Tough call to make!

    1. Sadly, it’s dry right now and the next rain seems to be coming in the evening :(

  9. To be honest I’m not really surprised and it’s probably a tactical decision from Mercedes; driver already starting towards the rear of the grid, and with talk of starting from the pitlane anyway, why not stick a new gearbox on it and take a bit of an advantage from it?

    1. Did you even read the article? The gearbox is damaged – they have to change it.

      So much for “tactical decision”.

  10. I guess pit lane now is the only feasible option. No need to risk an accident before the first corner, which is pretty tight. So its better to start from the pit lane, take the advantage of changing the cars setup to be completely racey with a good top speed for overtaking and good tyre management and do one stop less than the rest. At the moment you can try different strategies, the goal should be to try and get up to second. Rain would def help him though as he would be able to play with the strategy a little bit more, either way it should be fun to watch him get through the pack today.

  11. Massa now needs to crash into Nico on the first lap to even the points out a bit lol

  12. I don’t understand their logic, I’d take a risk and go for the lowest downforce possible for the circuit and start from the pitlane, I wouldn’t count on it to rain.

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