Bad news for people who thought he won
Yes, after what looked like a tremendous pole position for Lewis Hamilton at Catalunya today, he has been disqualified from the entire session for breaking one of the rules.
The FIA requires a one litre fuel sample at the end of every session. When Hamilton's car pulled over out on track it was carrying 1.3 litres of fuel. The FIA deemed that this was not enough to get it back to the pits and still provide a sample. As a result his pole position time has been disqualified.
But here's what gets me about this whole situation.
Firstly, Vettel (a guy through no fault of his own is fast becoming one of the most unpopular drivers in the sport) pulled over half way along the pit straight after winning the race last time out at Bahrain. He did this because he did not have enough fuel to make it back to the pits and provide the fuel sample. Was he disqualified? No. And his points were counted putting him into the lead for the championship.
Secondly, Hamilton did not breach the rules in Q1 or Q2 and set fastest and second fastest laps respectively. Why was he penalised for those too?
Secondly, this was not a driver error and as such the blame should not have gone to Hamilton. This was a team error in underfueling the car. If they are adamant they wont allow his third session time then again, fine the team and allow the results of the previous two rounds to count. This would put him in 10th. Or would it?
Last, and most importantly, Kobayashi also stopped out on track at the end of Q2 in identical circumstances. He qualified well in that session and would have made it into Q3 but due to technical difficulties, couldn't compete. He was therefore relegated to 10th place. Why was this the case and he not put to the back of the grid like Hamilton? Both cases should have been treated in the same fashion. Which takes priority (who is 9th and who is 10th) should have been what the stewards were debating. But instead they were handing Lewis yet another penalty.
So what does this mean. Well Lewis will get more and more despondent. You get the sense he is fed up with the sport to a degree. It also reminds me of the Senna situation where his rival Prost had the full support and backing of the then Bernie Eccelstone.
It also means Maldanado is on pole. And insignificant fact when you consider who is alongside him. Alonso is now on the front row beside him at his home race and during the exact period where Ferrari needs a boost from fans and sponsors. It's at this point the conspiracy theorists out there ask "coincidence?" And just this once I'm starting to believe they're onto something.
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