Maldonado on pole, Hamilton excluded
Pastor Maldonado has been promoted to pole position after stewards excluded Lewis Hamilton for breaching technical regulations.
The penalty promotes Pastor Maldonado to pole position – Williams’ first pole since Brazil 2009 – and second for almost seven years.
Hamilton stopped his car on track after Q3, breaching Article 6.6.2 of the 2012 technical regulations, which requires a car to return to the pits under its own power – and with enough fuel for a test sample – after qualifying.
Fittingly, this very regulation was introduced after Lewis Hamilton took pole and stopped his car on track after qualifying for the 2010 Canadian Grand Prix.
McLaren, though originally puporting that the car was stopped due to a technical issue, later put forward that it was the result of a refueling miscalculation that left Hamilton with less fuel in the tank than required.
The FIA, in a decision that took five hours to reach, didn’t believe this was enough for the team to escape punishment.
‘The Stewards head from the team representative Mr Sam Michael who stated that the car stopped on the circuit for reasons of force majeure,’ said the FIA in a press release.
‘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 the complete control of the Competitor the Stewards cannot accept this as a case of force majeure.
‘The Stewards determine that this is a breach of Article 6.6.2 of the FIA Formula One Technical Regulations and the Competitor is accordingly excluded from the results of the Qualifying Session. The Competitor is however allowed to start the race from the back of the grid.’