Sunday, May 13, 2012

Heartbreak for Hamilton, Respite for Narain Karthikeyan

Our article on Spanish Grand Prix qualifying was titled Hamilton on Pole, heartbreak for Narain

However, in the continuing drama that is Formula 1, the new title should read Heartbreak for Hamilton, Respite for Narain

Lewis Hamilton had done a great lap in the dying seconds to score the pole position. However, he stopped the car as he didn't have enough fuel to complete the lap. This was in breach of the regulations. Incidentally, the regulations (Article 6.6.2 of the FIA Formula One Technical Regulations) came into place because of a previous incident in Canadian Grand Prix by the same McLaren team with Hamilton driving the car. At that time Hamilton didn't have enough fuel for the mandatory inspection, so he stopped the car, got down and pushed it all the way waving to spectators. It was indeed a spectacle, but the rules were changed after that. So it is surprising that the McLaren team didn't knew about it.

McLaren officials pleaded before the Stewards that there was a fuel rig fault and hence there was shortage of fuel. However, the Stewards didn't accept the explanation and ruled "As the amount of fuel put into the car is under complete control of the Competitor the Stewards cannot accept this as a case of force majeure"

So Hamilton has been excluded from the qualifying results and will start from the back of the grid. Pastor Maldonado has been promoted to the pole position - his first pole.

"The Stewards received a report from the Race Director which stated that during post-qualifying scrutineering a sample of fuel was required from car 4, however, the car failed to return to the pits under its own power as required under Article 6.6.2 of the FIA Formula One Technical Regulations.

The Stewards heard from the team representative Mr. Sam Michael who stated that the car stopped on the circuit for reasons of force majeure. A team member had put an insufficient quantity of fuel into the car thereby resulting in the car having to be stopped on the circuit in order to be able to provide the required amount for sampling purposes. As the amount of fuel put into the car is under complete control of the Competitor the Stewards cannot accept this as a case of force majeure."

The disqualification of Lewis Hamilton has also resulted in Fernando Alonso moving into second position and to the front row of the grid. That will definitely excite many Spaniards and the race is going to see a full house.

So the revised provisional Grid for the Spanish Grand Prix is as follows:

Grid Position Driver Team
1 Pastor Maldonado Williams 
2 Fernando Alonso Ferrari
3 Romain Grosjean Lotus
4 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus
5 Sergio Perez Sauber
6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes
7 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull
8 Michael Schumacher Mercedes
9 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber
10 Jenson Button McLaren
11 Mark Webber Red Bull
12 Paul de Resta Force India
13 Nico Hulkenberg Force India
14 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso
15 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso
16 Felipe Massa Ferrari
17 Bruno Senna Williams 
18 Vitaly Petrov Caterham
19 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham
20 Charles Pic Marussia
21 Timo Glock Marussia
22 Pedro de la Rosa HRT
23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT
24 Lewis Hamilton McLaren

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