Roberto Merhi, Manor, Sepang International Circuit, 2015

Manor allowed to start race but Grosjean penalised

2015 Malaysian Grand Prix

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Roberto Merhi, Manor, Sepang International Circuit, 2015Both Manor drivers will be permitted to start the Malaysian Grand Prix despite falling foul of the ‘107% rule’ during qualifying.

Neither driver managed to set a time within 107% of the quickest lap in Q1. Roberto Merhi fell short by 0.4 seconds and Will Stevens did not set a time at all due to a technical problem.

However the stewards ruled the drivers had “set satisfactory times in practice at this event” and therefore may start.

“We were hoping to make the 107% time today, and that is what we have been pushing for through the weekend,” said Merhi. “Unfortunately we missed out by 0.4s in the end”.

“In the three sessions Will has shown that the car is thereabouts on pace, while I had a spin in FP3 today so, along with yesterday, I have not been able to achieve the consistent running I wanted to for the team”.

Romain Grosjean has been moved back two places on the grid for the Malaysian Grand Prix after the stewards ruled he had not left the pit lane in the order he arrived at the exit during Q2. Grosjean passed part of the queue of drivers who were waiting to leave the pits at the beginning of the session.

The Lotus driver had originally qualified in eighth place and will now start from tenth on the grid.

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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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    30 comments on “Manor allowed to start race but Grosjean penalised”

    1. Nice to have 20 cars on the grid again

      1. I agree. Was lucky enough to be at the Melbourne race. So few cars starting was, well, I love F1, but it could have been better in that regard.

      2. I would love to see 20 cars and more in the grid, however I would like them to be racing each other, not be moving obstacles.

        They are 5secs behind McLaren, and we all now what troubles McLaren has. If they took part in 2013 GP2 qualifying in Sepang they would qualify last! (Pole was 1:44.280).

        I think they shouldn’t have been allowed to race this time.

        And even worse, I don’t really see how they will improve. Do they even plan to get the 2015 Ferrari engine?

        1. I would agree with you about Manor, however, while most of that gap is down to them having effectively a 2014 car, a part of their problem at this point is limited running. They missed pre-season testing and the first race weekend. Therefore, this was the first time Stevens and Merhi even drove the car. While they will not be competing tomorrow, it will give them a chance to collect data and hopefully close the gap to the rest a bit for the next race.

          1. Yeah but that’s exactly what I am trying to say. They missed testing, they missed the first race, and now they are just way too slow.

            What’s the point of them competing if they are going to be lapped by everyone? They should do practice, qualifying and pack for home. Right now they are a moving danger in the track.

    2. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      28th March 2015, 11:49

      Watch your back McLaren boys!

      1. Maybe Button will use his Destruction Derby skills defending against them! It was hilarious watching him and Perez battling in AUS

        1. Matthew Coyne
          28th March 2015, 12:00

          You mean when Perez crashed into Button?

          Button is known as a very clean racer, not the destruction derby driver you seem to think.

        2. WHAT?? Im no fan of Button but his defending against perez in a vastly inferior car was quite brilliant. Think he may surprise a few this season in his battle with alonso. Destruction Derby?? Dear oh dear

      2. More chance of the ‘Manor boys getting hit by pieces of valves/springs/Pistons etc through the exhausts of a Honda engine!!!!!!
        Would love to be wrong though.

    3. Since when was it considered OK to give 2-position penalties out? The smallest I’ve seen before this was a 3-position penalty, and that was originally for infractions with somewhat mitigating circumstances?

      1. Romain Grosjean has been moved back two places on the grid for the Malaysian Grand Prix for a “pit lane infraction”.

        It would be nice to know what is meant by this.

        1. anyone knows what the infraction was ?
          did he walk without shoes ?? :-P

        2. @paeschli @alianora-la-canta this definitely seems very odd and unclear from the FIA. I wouldn’t be happy if I were Lotus.

          1. I’m not Lotus, I just like the squad and feel unhappy too…

        3. Romain left the pits out of sequence. Translation: he nearly hit Massa barging his way into the queue, instead of waiting for a safe gap.

        1. @keithcollantine It definitely makes sense now we know what the FIA meant by this :)

        2. Fair enough – thank you for reminding me!

    4. I’m impressed. I didn’t see Manor making 107% in their first weekend. Admittedly they didn’t manage it here, but to be that close while still carrying issues is pretty good. I hope that they pick up pace over the next few races as they get a better understanding of the car (even though I believe the changes to last year’s are minor), and that this isn’t exceeded by Mercedes pace of development- otherwise, unless they get out a ’15 spec chassis, they’ll fall behind for good.

      1. There is nothing impressive about getting into 107% nowadays. In reality it is 110% because the 107% rule is based on q1 top time which in most cases is seconds slower than the times the mercs will be doing in q3.

        In malaysia now the top teams were pushing just a little bit harder which is untypical for q1 so the marussias could not get into the real 107%. If we look at the marussia pace it is somewhere between real 107% and 110%. If the top team in q1 pushes just little harder it will mean marussia is out. Everytiem there is a chance of rain the qualifying in the future 2015 races this pattern will occur again and fia will just let them race because the top teams drove too fast in q1…

        1. There is nothing impressive about getting into 107% nowadays.

          @socksolid I think there is from a team using last year’s car with no testing and minimal funding when I fully expected them to be nowhere near that time.

          1. They are nowhere.

    5. Pit lane infraction….
      something new this year ??

      1. @webtel Nope. Raikkonen and Ricciardo got similar penalties in Canada 2013.

    6. Merhi was just outside 97% of the pole time…
      I hope they get Stevens’ car going and they’re both out there racing tomorrow. It may look like the world’s widest track but there are some fast combinations of corners here where they could be the Manor from Hell for one of the leaders, and an opportunity for the guy behind him. Which is exactly how it should be.

      1. Tommy Scragend
        28th March 2015, 16:51

        But the pole time was set in wet conditions, and Merhi’s time in dry conditions.

        It is the Q1 time that counts for the 107% calculation.

    7. Go Manor! :-D

    8. Ok….the current FIA and the stewards have to go!!! What is the point of this CRAP that they are penalizing Grosjean because of where he was in the queue of drivers to qualify?!!! Who the hell cares!!!! They have WAY too many stupid little rules that spoil everything!!! He probably wasn’t even aware of it, and I’m sure didn’t do it on purpose!! Besides which, why does it really matter…it never used to in years past when F1 was really F1!!!! These IDIOTS are ruining F1!!!!! Fire the whole bunch of them!!! Bunch of arrogant jerks!!!!!

      1. Of all the things that need to be fixed in F1 at the moment, I really can’t get worked up over a minor rule like this one.

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