Lewis Hamilton loses Spanish Grand Prix pole position


Lewis Hamilton has been dramatically moved to the back of the grid for the Spanish Grand Prix after being excluded from today's qualifying session.

McLaren have been found guilty of a fuel irregularity under the current FIA technical regulations as Hamilton stopped on track after seemingly claiming the team's 150th pole in Formula One.

McLaren had cited force majeure and had hoped to remain on pole, but following a lengthy stewards' hearing the 27-year-old and the team have been handed a severe penalty.

An FIA statement read: "The stewards received a report from the race director (Charlie Whiting) which stated that during post-qualifying scrutineering a sample of fuel was required from car 4 (Hamilton).

"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 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 6.2 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."

The FIA rule:

6.6 Fuel draining and sampling:

6.6.1 Competitors must provide a means of removing all fuel from the car.

6.6.2 Competitors must ensure that a one litre sample of fuel may be taken from the car at any time during the event.

Except in cases of force majeure (accepted as such by the stewards of the meeting), if a sample of fuel is required after a practice session the car concerned must have first been driven back to the pits under its own power.

Spanish Grand Prix Qualifying

1 Laps: 1 Pastor Maldonado (Ven) Williams 1min 22.285secs, 2 Fernando Alonso (Spa) Ferrari 1:22.302, 3 Romain Grosjean (Swi) Lotus F1 Team 1:22.424, 4 Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Lotus F1 Team 1:22.487, 5 Sergio Perez (Mex) Sauber-Ferrari 1:22.533, 6 Nico Rosberg (Ger) Mercedes GP 1:23.005, 7 Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Red Bull no time, 8 Michael Schumacher (Ger) Mercedes GP no time, 9 Kamui Kobayashi (Jpn) Sauber-Ferrari no time, 10 Jenson Button (Gbr) McLaren 1:22.944, 11 Mark Webber (Aus) Red Bull 1:22.977, 12 Paul di Resta (Gbr) Force India 1:23.125, 13 Nico Hulkenberg (Ger) Force India 1:23.177, 14 Jean-Eric Vergne (Fra) Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:23.265, 15 Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:23.442, 16 Felipe Massa (Bra) Ferrari 1:23.444, 17 Bruno Senna (Bra) Williams 1:24.981, 18 Vitaly Petrov (Rus) Caterham 1:25.277, 19 Heikki Kovalainen (Fin) Caterham 1:25.507, 20 Charles Pic (Fra) Marussia 1:26.582, 21 Timo Glock (Ger) Marussia 1:27.032, 22 Pedro de la Rosa (Spa) HRT-F1 1:27.555, 23 Narain Karthikeyan (Ind) HRT-F1 1:31.122

DQ: Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) McLaren 1min 21.707secs

Note: Lewis Hamilton originally qualified on pole, but was subsequently excluded due to a fuel irregularity