Hamilton stripped of pole position will start from back of grid

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4-27 on a truck after Qualifying.

Lewis Hamilton's McLaren MP4-27 being returned to the pits after qualifying

May 12 (F1 Media) Lewis Hamilton has been stripped of pole position for the Spanish Grand Prix after FIA stewards ruled that his on-track stoppage following his securing of the fastest time in qualifying constituted a breach of the sport’s Technical Regulations.

Pole sitter Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren waves to the crowd. Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Barcelona, Spain, Saturday 12 May 2012.

Lewis Hamilton hitched a lift back to the pits with the medical car after qualifying

Hamilton claimed McLaren’s 150th pole position in the dying seconds of Q3, displacing provisional front-of-grid driver Pastor Maldonado, but was almost immediately told by his team to pull over and stop his car. Both Hamilton and his team were subsequently called before the stewards to explain why he had not been able to return his car to the pits under its own power as prescribed in article 6.6.2 of the FIA’s Technical Regulations.

According to an FIA statement: “The stewards heard from the team representative Mr Sam Michael [Sporting Director], 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 [of fuel] for sampling purposes.”

This argument was, however, rejected by the stewards, who stated that “the amount of fuel put into the car is under the complete control of the competitor”. They then ruled that the team had breached article 6.6.2 and excluded Hamilton from the qualifying result.

Lewis Hamilton will start from the back of the grid

Hamilton will, however, be allowed to race, though he will start from the back of the grid. The penalty means that Pastor Maldonado will take pole position for tomorrow’s Spanish Grand Prix. It also marks Williams’ first pole position since the Brazilian GP of 2010, claimed by Nico Hulkenberg.

Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari will move up to the front row, the Spaniard now starting his home race from second on the grid.

Hamilton said, “This is such a disappointment. Today’s qualifying session was one of the best I’ve ever driven – the whole car was just rolling so smoothly – it felt fantastic. The team had done a fantastic job to bring the updates here this weekend – so I want to say a huge thank-you to all the men and women at the MTC for working day and night to get all the new components here this weekend.

“But, on my slowing-down lap, my engineers told me to stop on the track, and I didn’t know why. Later, to hear that I’d been excluded from qualifying, was of course extremely disappointing.

“But, now, looking ahead to tomorrow, I think it’s clear that it’s going to be an incredibly tough race for us. Even so, as always, I’ll never give up and I’ll give it everything I’ve got. It would mean so much to me to get a good result here in Spain: it’s such a pleasure to come here and the support I get is amazing.

“As I always say, and as I always do, whatever grid position I start a Grand Prix from, I’ll always race my heart out.”

  • wolf 320

    In the case of Lewis Hamilton only .. FIA creates strange laws!!!,
    I think that Lewis warrior for racial reasons inevitably??
    bad season.. with bad tiers..and bad Decisions
    I regret that I won’t watch the race tomorrow. Because of this FIA’s farce!!

  • Lol.

    Hamilton fanboys crying already.

    Rules are rules, read them and then say they make them up.

  • surya

    This is completely unacceptable and I dont understand who writes these rules. If he is found having less fuel then his Q2 time still stands. This means that he should start from 11th and not from the back of the Grid. But all said and done WTF was Martin Whitmarsh doing?. Last race it was the tyres and now it is the fuel. he thinks that he can frustrate lewis out of Mclaren without realizing that it will work against him. There are so many fans out there for Mclaren just for lewis Hamilton. Ron where are you?.

  • Phix

    I dont understand why he is put at the very back. The rule says that he should be put at the back of the qualifying session… but the session is Q3 and as such shouldnt the back of that only be 10th?
    I mean he broke the rules in Q3, but unless there is proff he broke the rules in the other 2 sessions I really dont see why he should be put at the very back of the grid…

  • f1 fan

    that is so unfair with him after such an amazing qualifying session he has got the most poles so far but still wasn’t able to win!! i wish he wins cause he deserves for all his hard work !!!

  • Me

    This is not fair! Who is responsibal for thenking the car? Hamilton? Some one work against Hamilton inside Meclaren…..
    He was fastest and with 20 liters plus….
    So i do not wont to woch tomorrow race too…
    Best regards to all Hamilton fans, from Macedonia

  • lokii

    I dont know why people are crying about this. It is fair and just. People dont seem to understand that low fuel loads can make a huge difference in qualy times since the car has to push less weight around the circuit. The only reason they were able to squeeze that time out of his car clearly relates to the amount of fuel he was carrying.

    good work by the stewards. Glad to see they are actually punishing teams for not returning to the pits with enough fuel. IMO they should also start punishing teams that fail to make it to the pits after the race.

  • Psych4191

    This is actually completely fair. The F1 teams (especially McLaren) have sufficient data and technology to know exactly what happens in and around that car at all times. They didn’t mess up and put in low fuel, it was on purpose. Furthermore, I can guarantee they thought it’d just be fine to stop the car on track, solely because they’re McLaren. The FIA probably put them at the back to make an example out of them.

  • Hawk

    @psych and lokii
    Do u hv any drop of mathematics in you? Hw much wt do u thq McLaren saved on Lewis’ car to take the risk? 1 coasting lap? 2-3liters. Hw much advantage did it give him?

  • goefly

    “UNBELEIVABLE” You can’t make this stuff up… add a time penalty equal to the fuel missing and he would still be on the “POLE”. The stewards are all nuts and McLaren should pack up and boycott the race.

    By the way…. will the bookies now pay the huge odds on Maldenado?
    Hmmmm.. Alonso on the front row in Spain?

    Oh and you think F-1 isn’t fixed

  • Taz

    I think most of yous are right in VMC (mclearn) should of had enough fuel and knew how much fuel was in the car, And FIA r very harsh although i think the shoudl have something like 5place or 10 place penalty BUT they are made A example of. any ways not a hamilton fan but like this driving should be good watching him making his way from the back,ALSO 90%+ of the time pole wins so would this increase maldnado chances for a wwin? really omg

  • Taz

    @goefly F1 isnt fixd as u would discribe it williams are slow of the line,f2012 wil take lead on first lap,

  • kokiiskmk

    WTF…..I’m so pissed off ,Widmarsh is doing this on purpose.
    If i was Hamilton ill just quit, every race every week they screw him over somehow……..even HRT and Marusia are not making that kind of mistakes. This is ridiculous.

    Mclaren fan from Macedonia

  • F1Racer

    @lokii, you are right that the fuel loads make a difference to the time but not by over half a second !
    Lewis was on pole regardless. An extra lap of fuel does in no way account for .5 of a second.

    This is an inexcusable situation for McLaren. If they deliberately tried to get an advantage from this then they deserved this penalty.
    I will say that I am not only a McLaren fan, but I am a Hamilton fan too.

    If it was an accident than they need to either sack the fuel guy or drop him to an office job.
    The rules are in place and McLaren know them as well as anyone.

    I am more angry that McLaren did this than Lewis losing the pole.

    3 messed up pit stops and now this. Look what McLaren have cost Lewis already this season and we are not even 5 races in yet.
    Do they want him to win ffs ?

    Unless Lewis can finish with a big haul of points, this might end up costing him the title. Idiots !

  • Barlow

    The qualifying session starts in the pits and ends in the pits, if you don’t make it back to the pits you lose your qualifying position, it’s like you never qualified, it’s simple, all the other cars made it back to park ferme. It’s different if you crash, you keep your place, if you made a good time!! But having to stop on pit orders, you lose!!

  • goefly

    OK… so Lewis should have come across the line and then spun into the wall. It is just like Vetel not finishing the race so he can get a gearbox change without a penalty….

  • Taz

    Mc have been warned in past for this and thats why they are punished, i think if these strange things keep ocuring to lewis then i dont see him with VMC next year hes a talented driver and
    any team would gain an advantage having him

  • CJ

    Im as shocked as everyone else over this, the main reason for coming back to the pits is to check the fuel if it is legal or not McClaren officals f’ked up here big time and its the driver Lewis who suffers the most ,penalise the team (fine) and not the driver the FIA should have at least had Lewis back in 10th on the grid because the FIA have no proof that the car did any beyond the rules to make Q3, Maybe the FIA should start fueling the cars too they are making F1 a drama not racing ,I’m hoping that Alonso wins today he has tried so hard with a car that is definately second rate this year Massa’s place on the grid is the end for him if he does’nt produce some good points

  • Yoda

    qualifying fast. inadequate race fuel. such deception. typical mclaren. troublesome indeed. . .

  • Mosquito

    So Hamilton does a number of laps, ends up with a little less fuel than he is supposed to so gets sent to the back of the grid because he gained an “unfair” advantage. Schumacher and Vettel ridicule the rules, do not bother to have even a minimal sense of decency or respect for ticket paying fans do not even bother with Q3. By breaking the spirit of F1 rules they too gain an unfair advantage, but that’s OK, I guess.

    Also, Spanish stewards, of course take every opportunity to promote their favourite cheat Alonso. Goodbye F1.

  • louise

    F1 is not fixed
    I do think this is a little bit harsh but rules are rules!

  • luiz

    “…is under the complete control of the competitor”

    FIA is ridiculous!!!

    What is and what is not under complete control of the competitor???

    Making a mistake in pit stops or refueling is as mistake as wrongly assembling a gear box or engine.

    Plus, Stopping at the end of the race on purpose is ok…
    And I think there have been qualifying in which a car spun and did not came back to the pits, and nothing happened…

    Looks like the people who write and interpret the rules are far from technical knowledgebles… I would say ignorants…

  • luiz

    Another thing: FIA is so stupid that they managed to create a set of rules according to which not running in q3 can be an advantage!!!
    Brilliant guys!!!

  • andrewf1

    f*ck you, mclaren! how can such a team royally screw up in 5 out of 5 races. they look like SUCH a bunch of amateurs right now…

  • JAg

    Is very sad…let them do what they want …Lewis will be more stronger and will Never give up

  • Kimi4WC

    Such a lie by McLaren, Martin Witmarsh looked so dumb then he was asked why they stopped, they didn’t come up with excuse yet. Fuel is such obvious lie.

    It is very sad for Lewis(not a fan) who set amazing lap.

    Come to respect Lewis even more, for enduring all this crap from the team. Seems like they don’t appreciate that they got one of the fastest drivers on the grid.

    Lewis too sounded puzzled when he asked if something wrong.

    Someone in McLaren should be fired.

  • Stewy33

    I do not see Hammy making it 5 laps with out a major shunt in the race. I see Hammy making a silly attack move on someone and wrecking into a back marker.

  • Kimi4WC

    To all people bashing on FIA:

    This decision was a respond to stupid excuse.
    McLaren did have fuel, they choose to lie about it to cover whatever reasons they had for a stop. And got adequate judgment.

  • Jason

    Lewis Hamilton had finally pick himself up from the previous season but now it his team, Mclaren, whose being bringing things down. What a MAJOR LET DOWN!

  • andrewf1


    the car had 1,3 l of fuel left when hamilton stopped, and they need 1 l for the fuel sample. 0,3 l wouldnt have been enough to complete the lap. and it was reported that the guy responsible for the fuel rig was at fault, having set-up the device wrongly and realizing it too late.

  • Bruce

    This is completely fair, the f1 teams know exactly how much fuel they have and need. If they were light on fuel then they must have been trying to take an advantage out of it.
    The stupid thing about it is they had a fast enough car anyway… If they had fuelled the car properly they would have been on pole. They cheated- for no reason… now they must start at the back.

  • F1Racer

    @Kimi4WC, what are you talking about ?

    If McLaren had another reason for stopping, why would they use an excuse that would get them a penalty ?
    Also if McLaren did have fuel, where are you getting your info from ?
    What do you know that we all don’t ?

    McLaren deserves the penalty for trying to flout the rules but Lewis doesn’t deserve it.
    Maybe he should switch teams if this one can’t get their act together.
    It’s all too easy to say it’s the Spanish stewards (are they Spanish even ???) and we all know that the Spanish don’t like Hamilton and this penalty would push Alonso up the grid to the front row blah blah blah.
    But the stewards didn’t make McLaren stop on track after quali.

    If they had got back to parc ferme like they were supposed to it would be the FIA checking the car and they’d have been ok and the stewards would have had no say it it.

    I fail to see how McLaren accidentally screwed this up. What with this and 3 fumbled pit stops it makes easy arguments for the conspiracy theorists.

  • clam

    the stewards aren’t spanish, and the final decision is with Charlie Whiting

  • Stewy33

    How funny would it be if Hammy comes from dead last to the lead than runs out of gas with 2 laps to go to DNF…

  • bobs

    McLaren’s fault so punish the team (dock constructors points i.e. 25 points) and don’t punish the driver, after all the team put the fuel in not the driver.

  • Taz


  • bobs

    I remember and that was crass as well. The rule book should not only contain the rules but also state the penalty for any infringement. That would show transparency to teams, sponsors and fans.

  • fawxx

    i love all the comments here that show all the ignorance and shortsightedness of almost everyone.

    mclaren underfueled hammy.
    hammy banged in a perfect lap.
    mclaren asked him to stop, hammy stopped.

    regulations state that car can only be stopped on track ONLY because of force majore.
    mclaren was unable why they stopped because of force majore.
    hence, stewards DQ-ed him from his quali session.

    mclaren could have avoided this situation in 2 ways.
    1. ask hammy to abort his lap and come back to the pits slowly.
    2. fuel him sufficiently.

    i feel sad for hammy but rules are rules. once again, mclaren screwed him up

  • asahjaya

    I agree with Phix. The rule is broken at Q3 so he should be at the back of Q3, that is 10th.

  • pitwall

    Not for the first time…

  • pitwall

    Well done Williams! A pole is what they need to restore faith in their team

  • pitwall

    @goefly The stewards didn’t fuel Lewis’s car, neither did the FIA or Fernando. F1 is fixed? Fantastic mindless jibberish!

  • usman fasih

    all i have to contribute is HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA dead last Hamilton, McLaren are a bunch of amateurs. Fueling up a Formula 1 car is a challenge LOL

  • Selvam

    Still believe Hamilton can put a strong show… One more mistake from Mclaren, then its time to rethink seriously his next contract with Mclaren….

  • Matthias O’keeffe

    @Selvam, it wasn’t Lewis fault… McLaren just asked him to stop to preserve fuel, why would you say it’s his fault?

  • Matthias O’keeffe

    And he has also said before, he’s staying with McLaren for a long time, so he is not gonna change team..

  • Speedo

    Disgusting is not the word. With all these conspiracy theories going around I wonder if there is a force working against Lewis. McLaren pit crew including Whitmarsh are a bunch of nincompoops.

    Even if he had 3 more litres he would have been on pole. Rules are rules and they have to be adhered to. But are they consistent. He should have been penalised for only Q3 and be placed 10th and not at the back. Deducts points from the constructors standing and not have Lewis pay the full penalty for the blunder again by the pit crew. I always felt they have been harsh on Lewis when handing out on penalties.

    When will they ever learn and get their act together. Lewis has no new tyres to fight his way up the ranks and for this same reason he cannot alter the strategy by running one less pit stop with these pirellis. I also think that the rule in Q3 should be altered where every one who qualified must register a time and not sit out to save tyres.

    A change is required in the McLaren team starting with Whitmarsh. I hate to watch the race but I will just to watch Lewis crawl his way back to the top. Good luck Lewis, you need it.

    I think we are going to see another driver and team win this race – Maldonado/William making five different drivers/teams in 5 races. At the end of the race I see Alonso/Ferrari leading the championship with Lewis/Mclaren down at 5th place.

  • AlonsoFan

    That is totally unacceptable from Mclaren.thats the sort of mistake one expects from rookie teams.Idiots messed up the pitstops previously and now this.

  • andhee

    they penalized because the car nose is different everybody else… or the tried reverse grid system like BTCC

    rules are rules, but this one are stupid

  • Harsha

    Hamilton Must leave Mclaren as soon as Possible as Witmarsh Considers only Jenson is the Driver in Mclaren not LH despite of His Superb performances with 2 poles
    You can observe this from the 2011 season and effectively in 2012 Calling JB before LH even though LH tires are fading off more than JB also Blunders in Pit stops costing him track postition
    Now this
    Come on LH leave Mclaren as soon as Possible they don’t deserve a Player like you
    If Possible go to Mercedes or Lotus but please don’t be in Mclaren they never want to see you Winning they only like to Make JB Win

  • f1 fan

    Guyz why dont you realize that mistakes do happen, im sure that they (mclaren) wouldnt have done that purposely as they were fully aware of the strict rules of the stewards, but the penalty that was given was just too harsh, the could have atleast minimized the penalty!!!

  • Speedo

    I am quoting Mark Hughes for you guys. Whats your conclusion about those incompetent pit crew

    Mark Hughes, writing in The Sunday Times, shed some light on how the error occurred, explaining: ‘A tap on the team’s refuelling device was initially moved the wrong way by a mechanic, meaning the fuel was being sucked out rather than pumped in. Upon realising his error, he switched the tap to the correct setting, but with the seconds counting down to give Hamilton enough time to do the out-lap and begin his flying lap, the car was released with insufficient fuel.’

    Imagine, instead of refuelling they remove the fuel. Are they rookies or what.

  • f1 fan

    i think that specific person employed by mclaren for the particular job was a rookie, might be !!! who knows !!

  • Speeedbagal.

    It’s the teams fault.They have all the data to their cars.Leave Hamilton alone.Like they say rules are rules…..not his fault.

  • Obviously

    LH is a dick… Nobody likes him, at the team, or elsewhere. Of course Button is gonna have priority. I don’t believe the conspiracists though…but a nevah know.

  • John

    @ obviously, truly you are a baised dick yourself. Formula 1 is exciting cos of the likes of Lewis Hamilton..if it wasn’t the likes of him it would’n be so impressive..lewis has many genuine fans other than a sick dickhead like you..and he is way too better than button,,it is obvious

  • f1 fan

    @Obviously your comment that that nobody likes hamilton is absolutely incorrect why would they dislike him , because he is a fantatistic driver !!! you can see all comments supporting him!! he truly proved himself today as a racing driver!!!

  • Selvam

    @Matthias O’keeffe… I never said it was Hami’s fault… I am blaming only Mclaren & useless Whitmarsh…

  • Obviously

    @f1, I was referring to the paddock.

  • luiz

    In the case of Lewis Hamilton only .. FIA creates strange laws!!!,

    It really seems to be the case.
    You guys are discussing about how idiotic mclaren was, but that is not the point…

    You should all be complaining about a line in the rule which uses the wording “force majeure”, which is a very subjective term, and should have absolutely no place in a sport regulation…

    This (like many other examples in the past) seems to have the only purpose of being applied when it comes to LH…

    Although I m not a fan of him, I must admit FIA is going too far in his prosecution…

  • Hawk

    you envy LH because you and others incl. Whitmarsh ofcourse know JB is a second rate driver. he just cannot make the cut of the Lewis’, Alonso, Kimi and Vettel. MSC is of yesterday. he is wallowing with the Mark Webbers, Massa, Rubens, DC, Damon, not JPM of this world. everyone should know that gifted people are very erratic.. like LH last season. but when trying to improve their act do not screw them because every one will see it. and you will not win because it is not you who gifted him.

  • Steve

    Hamilton got what he deserved! Rules are rules and you Hamilton fanboys are always making excuses and blaming others. Racism, bias, etc.. etc.. The list goes on and on. The FIA is not out to get Hamilton, you sore losers.

    Maybe if Hamilton wasn’t such a fake and actually behaved like himself he’d be better off. He changes his phony persona from year to year. He goes from complete d****ebag last year to a complete angel this year? And of course the British media has GOT to cover that right? “Hamilton has had a sensational change of attitude in the past few months”. This guy has been nothing but a poison to the sport.

    He’s an athlete, maybe he should start acting like one and not chase after Hollywood celebrities “getting excited seeing Chris Tucker and Chris Rock”. Hahaha, what a child.


  • Steve

    @Hawk, No we don’t envy Lewis Hamilton. There are few things that irritate me more than a fake person. Someone who pretends to be someone who they are not.

    I would even give respect to Hamilton if he went around calling drivers “monkeys” everyday, like he did last year at Monaco, so long as he didn’t pretend that that isn’t how he really feels.

    The fact of the matter is if you can’t see the issues with his bevahiour and the harm he has done to the sport of F1 then you are blind. The only Hamilton fans I run into are the idiotic fanboys who probably don’t even know what the F in F1 is for, and the beloved British media, who have Lewis Hamilton flying out of every hole they’ve got.

    Some of us are just sick of it!

  • Steve

    Oh and funny to see supposed “McLaren fans” bashing the team in such a way, and on top of that siding with Hamilton so strongly. I bet if Hamilton jumped ship to Red Bull overnight you guys would follow in a heartbeat.

    To think that some of you idiots are giving McLaren – one of the greatest teams in F1 – stick over some goof’s, I mean “star driver’s”, botched pit stops is ridiculous. Drivers come and go, and this clown probably won’t even be remembered in 10 years time.

    Get your heads out of your a**es and follow the sport. There is enough technical content in F1 to keep you interested and busy for years! Yet you guys seem to prefer coming on here and spewing your man love for Hamilton. He’s having a blast in his yacht in Monaco right now while you clowns are crying over his results, pathetic human beings you are.

    Keep going though, if you type about your love for him long enough he might actually come give you a hug.

    P.S. KEEP IN MIND that he received a reprimand in Canada last year for the exact same thing – underfuelling his car during qualifying. You can’t get away with cheating twice!

  • Hawk

    do you mean to say Lewis measures the fuel to put into his car? and everyone in the team says yeah right..
    you are the fuckin obsessed bigot with your hatred and envy. At least am not hating anyone, but you? have a crash on Nicole?
    shd we start blaming LH for all the team’s failures because TEAM AND DRIVER GO TOGETHER? Tell me of a single fuckin sporting genius who doesnt have a flaw? sport has no room for such simpletons as you who hate sportsmen without even knowing them.. BIGOT

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