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Nick_L
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They desperately need to sort the Q3 situation out. Perhaps a rule that says everyone in Q3 has to set a lap time to within a second of the time they managed in Q2 or something (with a bit of tolerance in strange circumstances).

Putting Lewis to the back of the grid is too much. Sadly though a penalty was inevitable - Lewis didn't have enough fuel, so he was running underweight and that gave him an advantage. Not that he needed one because he was totally on it today, but still. Mistake or no mistake, McLaren screwed up.

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I'm very interested to see what happens in future if any other car runs out of fuel during qualifying. Will they also get the ban hammer and forced to start at the back. Fucks sake, he should have just 'accidentally' binned it.

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The penalty is just so disproportionate, why put him at the back, stripping him of the final time would have been enough & using his 1st Q3 as his timed lap is the obvious choice to me.

WTF all round. As I'm sure you all know I'm a huge Mclaren fan but they keep this up any longer & Lewis will be gone I'm sure of it.

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They desperately need to sort the Q3 situation out. Perhaps a rule that says everyone in Q3 has to set a lap time to within a second of the time they managed in Q2 or something (with a bit of tolerance in strange circumstances).

Putting Lewis to the back of the grid is too much. Sadly though a penalty was inevitable - Lewis didn't have enough fuel, so he was running underweight and that gave him an advantage. Not that he needed one because he was totally on it today, but still. Mistake or no mistake, McLaren screwed up.

So why stick him at the back? Being disqualified from Q3 should still put him 11th. He has come out of this in a worse situation than if he had just fucked off for a Cornetto at the start of Q3.

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Yeah, ditching his best Q3 time would have been more appropriate for sure. Putting him all the way to the back is seriously harsh for the guy.

I guess though that a car's fuel sample is only taken after it has finished its participation in qualifying, so I guess the FIA's stance will be that for all they know McLaren could have been running not enough fuel for the entire session. Dunno though - still think it's too much putting him 24th.

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I think it could be down to what McLaren told the FIA, trying to claim it was a technical problem or force majeure, when it seems someone didn't put enough fuel in which they have control over. If they have lied or tried to cover it up to avoid a penalty then it doesn't seem a surprise they got such a harsh penalty. If they didn't and where perfectly upfront about it then yeah this would be too harsh.

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Yeah agree he shouldve had a penalty, but back of the grid is way too harsh. He was the fastest guy out there today by a mile.

Still, McLaren need to stop fucking up. Pretty basic mistake, especially considering how obviously quick he was.

You put that tenner on Lotus Kiro? Looking pretty good now! :)

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The memo further up this page clearly states that McLaren were perfectly honest about it, they held their hands up and said "one of our guys made a mistake." To throw Lewis to the back of the grid now sets a precedent. if it happens to other cars, let's see how it's treated.

But it also says they tried to claim force majeure so they might have only admitted it after some questioning. I just expect there's an explanation for it in the details we've not seen.

Sam Michael is finally doing the job for Williams though. ;)

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Hmm, McLaren haven't had the best of times with stewards and the FIA over the years, so you could have a point.

Going over it, the reason for Lewis being put to the back makes sense as harsh at it is. Each car has to run with enough fuel to make it back to the pits and give a sample at whatever point they are knocked out. This rule covers the car's entire participation in qualifying, whether that be just Q3, Q3 and Q2 or the whole lot. If you start compartmentalising each separate session and giving penalties just for that then you start raising the possibilities that some cars might purposefully run without the FIA fuel sample amount just to give them a few tenths and through one of the cut-offs.

Not really an issue with Lewis, but with such a tight midfield it could cause plenty of issues if teams like Williams, Sauber, Force India, Toro Rosso etc start thinking they can run underweight in one session to get through and if they get busted in the next only lose a handful of places rather than being placed at the back. I'm pretty sure the rule's there as a deterrent; the only reason it looks a little silly now is because it's happened to someone who could have still be in Q3 on a whole quarter of a tank of fuel.

Thing is, you can't have different rules for different people.

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As pretty much everyone has already said: utter bollocks

The sheer number of times we've seen race winners not make back to the paddock puts this decision in ridicule. Off the top of my head I'm thinking Button and Vettel in recent times have won a race and had to stop on the track. The reason being that they didn't have enough fuel in the car to make it back and give a sample. So there for why didn't they automatically get put to the back of the table and given no points? That's effectively what's happened to Lewis.

What would the penalty have been if he'd have made it back, but only been able to supply a small fuel sample? Or what if he'd wrecked the gear box or blown the engine?

There can really only be two worse punishments he could have received here. Race ban or docked points. Thinking about the many worse things a driver could do, the penalty just seems ridiculous.

5 places, Q3 times wiped, fasted time wiped... all sound like fair punishments for what was a failure by the team. But I still question how they can really penalise him at all and not the many other instances of this happening during race day.

What about Koby? He didn't make it back to the pits under the cars own power, does he get to start from the back? Senna too, does he start from the back?

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"Gary Anderson/BBC F1 McLaren refueller turned the tap to 'drain' instead of 'fill' briefly, realised his error but engineers sent car out"

Source, would also say the team knew he wouldn't have the fuel yet still sent and kept him out to do his lap, then try to claim it was out of their control.

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Hmm, McLaren haven't had the best of times with stewards and the FIA over the years, so you could have a point.

Going over it, the reason for Lewis being put to the back makes sense as harsh at it is. Each car has to run with enough fuel to make it back to the pits and give a sample at whatever point they are knocked out. This rule covers the car's entire participation in qualifying, whether that be just Q3, Q3 and Q2 or the whole lot. If you start compartmentalising each separate session and giving penalties just for that then you start raising the possibilities that some cars might purposefully run without the FIA fuel sample amount just to give them a few tenths and through one of the cut-offs.

Not really an issue with Lewis, but with such a tight midfield it could cause plenty of issues if teams like Williams, Sauber, Force India, Toro Rosso etc start thinking they can run underweight in one session to get through and if they get busted in the next only lose a handful of places rather than being placed at the back. I'm pretty sure the rule's there as a deterrent; the only reason it looks a little silly now is because it's happened to someone who could have still be in Q3 on a whole quarter of a tank of fuel.

Thing is, you can't have different rules for different people.

But if cars don't have to give a sample for Q1 or Q2, then why shouldn't they run light? how do we know they're not? The rule doesn't seem consistent enough there.

How do we know that some cars aren't fueling light to get them into the next qualifying session, at which point they can give a sample after being refulled?

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True, but I guess the deterrent of potentially being thrown to the back of the grid if they don't make it through is enough to stop teams doing it.

I mean, in Q1 it hardly makes any odds as HRT, Marussia and Caterham are so slow. But say you're Sauber and in Q2 you are considering running that litre or so underweight to try and make Q3; would you do it if the worst that could happen if you didn't make it and qualified 11th is you would be demoted to 17th, rather than 24th? There is every chance it happens already of course, but having the rule the way it is does mean if a team does try it and fails then it's in for a world of pain rather than just dropping a row or two.

Regarding the Rosberg thing: I agree that it was completely silly to let him off, but that decision was made by a different group of people and was a judgement call on a racing manouvre rather than this one, which was sadly just a black and white case of a car not having enough fuel in its tank.

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How did this invalidate all of qualifying, surely it should only affect part 3 of qualifying after all his car made it back in all of the previous sessions.

Because the car was illegal so he was disqualified from the session, which is qualifying.

It's harsh but it's right there in the rulebook and has been since forever.

Yeah. Qualifying's already a fucking joke with three of the ten cars not even bothering to put a lap time in for Q3, but now they've made it into a full on farce there's no point tuning into F1 any more. I thought it was supposed to be about cars going fast, but it's all tactics and spiteful technicalities. How the hell is it racing when you gain an advantage just by sitting in a garage? And how many countless times have cars pulled over at the end of a race with it being allowed to slide? I'm sure it's happened at least once this season (did Vettel do it after his win?), but because it happened to their favourite target Hamilton they say "Oh no, it's completely different because it's qualifying, not the race! That makes him a cheating bastard you see! Evil evil! Lucky we haven't booted him out of F1! He should be thanking us!"

No it's completely different because they failed to convince the FIA there was a good reason for doing so. If he'd had a mechanical failure it'd be fine but he had a human error in filling the fuel tank and thus qualified underweight.

There's also the minor point that if you do it for 66 laps then it's a tiny tiny advantage and one it'd be virtually impossible to judge if you were doing it deliberately. Whereas for a 3 lap qualifying run, having a whole half lap too little fuel is not "Bad luck", it's either idiocy or cheating.

I know there's a lot of Lewis fans here but this is entirely fair and correct. He ran too little fuel to do the session and thus set his lap with an illegal car.

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Feel sorry for Lewis. He was buzzing after that lap and now starts at the very back of the grid. Balls.

Hope he can put on a show and come through the grid on a strormer, maybe get lucky with a safety car period to bring the pack together again.

in other news, I stuck some cash on a Raikonnen win, so thats looking decent now.

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Whilst this has been going on, Williams have been having a birthday party for Frank Williams. Supposedly Lewis was there and took the news well, and was reportedly really chuffed to have had his picture snapped sitting next to Sir Frank on his mobile :).

As at Spa last season I fear my posts might make me seem slightly anti-Lewis, when that really isn't the case. He's a great driver and I look forward to seeing him climb through the field tomorrow.

EDIT: Marmite, I have £20 on Grosjean and £20 on Raikkonen. Shame I didn't put cash on Maldonado for pole as some places were giving odds of 500/1

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McLaren lost out because they're too honest. Binning the car would've got even more laughs from the Spanish crowd than stopping did (they were shitting themselves in jubiliation as it was), but it would've worked. Also sticking to the lie as opposed to breaking under questioning. If they did, worst would have been disqualification from Q3 time i.e. 10th.

Amazing for Maldanaldo and Williams, looks like the legendary Williams-Renault combo is back and working wonders!

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What a bizarro Q3 though, some cars not even bothering to set a lap due to preserving tyres. In a way the tyres had made it great for qualy this season, because it has forced everyone to go out on options to 'give it their best' - as opposed to previous years of sticking with primes until Q3 - but on the flip side we have this strategy of keeping an extra set by sacrificing a few places.

Qualfiying should always be about duking it out for the fastest time.

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McLaren lost out because they're too honest. Binning the car would've got even more laughs from the Spanish crowd than stopping did (they were shitting themselves in jubiliation as it was), but it would've worked.

Until the FIA looked at the tank.

If Mclaren knew he didn't have enough fuel, why not get him to park it at the end of the pits like we've seen in the past?

It wouldn't have had a litre in by that point.

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No it's completely different because they failed to convince the FIA there was a good reason for doing so. If he'd had a mechanical failure it'd be fine but he had a human error in filling the fuel tank and thus qualified underweight.

There's also the minor point that if you do it for 66 laps then it's a tiny tiny advantage and one it'd be virtually impossible to judge if you were doing it deliberately. Whereas for a 3 lap qualifying run, having a whole half lap too little fuel is not "Bad luck", it's either idiocy or cheating.

I know there's a lot of Lewis fans here but this is entirely fair and correct. He ran too little fuel to do the session and thus set his lap with an illegal car.

A tenth of a second per lap over an entire GP is about six seconds, which often means several places just on the final results, and who knows what other gains during the rest of the race (seeing you ahead of a rival after a pit stop instead of the other way round, etc). Surely it's just as big an advantage there, if not bigger?

I guess overall they'd have been better off just letting him literally run out of fuel; the one time that I can remember drivers actually getting caught with illegal fuel (the two BMW's were running it too hot in the 2007 Brazilian GP) they decided not to give them any punishment it at all (perhaps, coincidentally, because it would have made Hamilton the world champion instead of Raikkonen ;)).

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