Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, Sochi Autodrom, 2014

Grid drops for Hulkenberg and Maldonado

2014 Russian Grand Prix

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Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, Sochi Autodrom, 2014Nico Hulkenberg and Pastor Maldonado are set to be moved back five places on the grid for the Russian Grand Prix.

The Force India driver has switched to a new gearbox following the previous race in Japan, despite having not used his previous unit for six consecutive races as required by the rules.

Hulkenberg came to a stop at the end of the race, but because the race was abandoned before reaching full distance he was classified a a finisher, meaning he will take a penalty for the change of gearbox.

Maldonado, meanwhile, is the first driver to have a penalty ‘roll over’ from one weekend to the next under the new power unit rules brought in for this season.

The Lotus driver received a ten-place grid penalty for switching to a sixth internal combustion engine at Suzuka. However as he qualified 17th he could only be moved back five places to 22nd.

Therefore he will be moved back a further five places on the grid for this weekend’s race. Under the rules, if he does not qualify high enough to serve the remainder of his penalty, it will not be carried on any further.

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Image © Force India

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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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9 comments on “Grid drops for Hulkenberg and Maldonado”

  1. Is Maldonado’s 5 place penalty sure? Because I know he was supposed to take 10 last week and could only go back 5 on the grid, but as JEV was only moved back by 9 places instead of 10 (even though he got his penalty later), from which I assumed that Maldonado’s penalty was applied later, in which case he’d fallen back 6 places last week and had 4 places remaining.

    1. Or someone cocked up by moving JEV back by 1 less place (I remember seeing it for example here that he was put on P21 and on the F1 website P20, and P20 turned out to be his final grid spot).

      1. Something fishy going in there…

    2. Irritatingly, penalties are applied in the order they are applied.

      There was a case a couple of years ago where two drivers (A and B) received a two-place grid penalty. They qualified in two adjacent positions (say, 7 and 8):
      7. A
      8. B
      9. C
      10. D

      A logical outcome after the penalties would mean the following after A and B receive a two-place grid drop:
      7. C
      8. D
      9. A
      10. B

      However, penalties are applied sequentially. As the driver that was ahead was punished first, he dropped two places first:
      7. B
      8. C
      9. A
      10. D

      Then, driver B was dropped by two places, so the final grid positions were:
      7. C
      8. A
      9. B
      10. D

      So effectively, due to these strange rules, A and B only dropped one place each instead of two.

      I think it would be better to have all penalties applied at the same time, and only use the timing of the decision of the penalty to resolve situations where several penalised drivers would end up at the same grid spot.

      1. Another example of bad FIA rule writing!

      2. Still ‘fondly’ recall the wait for the final 2009 Japanese GP: @mike-dee http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2009/10/03/japanese-grand-prix-grid/

        1. Note how Barrichello only ends up losing one spot, Button three, and Kovalainen the full 5 place penalty, due to timing and who ahead of them get penalties when.

      3. @mike-dee I know that, and that’s why I don’t understand it, Maldonado’s penalty came first (which would suggest 5 places remaining for now), but JEV only dropped 9 (which would suggest 4 places remaining for now). So I don’t find the logic in the relation of the two penalties.

  2. Too bad the grid drops don’t allow for drivers to be banned for a race or two. It would be a welcome sight to have some hot shot youngster take a stab at controlling that indomitable Lotus, while Crashtor is sitting on the sidelines reminiscing about his first / last win.

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