We were treated to a rare site after qualifying yesterday – Lewis Hamilton showing full personable emotion and joy at scoring a, quite frankly awesome qualifying lap to secure pole position – the first time this year, and the first time a Red Bull hasn’t been there. Well done Lewis and it was great to see the 2008 champ out of his car, literally pushing it to back to the pitlane – but there lies the problem…
…as ever the FIA have messed up again by not having clear rules set out. McLaren told Lewis to turn off his engine after the blinder of a lap to save fuel (the stewards require samples to check) but because he took so long to get himself and car back to the pit lane, the team have been fined $10,000 and Lewis has a sore wrist after having it verbally slapped by the FIA. To top it off, there’s a bit of unhappiness amongst the rest of the team bosses too.
Lewis’ quick lap was pretty much completed on fumes, with not enough of said fumes left to get back to the pit lane, hence he had to get out and push. Now, we all know how Formula One works on the tiniest of fractions and how a lap of fuel can slow a car by a tenth or two over a lap due to increased weight. McLaren and Lewis didn’t intend to run out of fuel in this manner, but it will have definitely helped the quick lap so why doesn’t everyone do it.
No doubt, there will be a new rule in place by Valencia stating that a car must return to the pits under it’s own power to avoid everyone running on fumes for their quick lap in the top 10 shoot out. That said, there are grumblings up and down the pit lane along the lines of “10 grand, is that it?” – a fair point, we’re pretty sure here at the Sett that Helmut Marko (head honcho of Red Bull) would have happily whipped out a cheque for $10,000 dollars if it meant pole, likewise the Mercedes and Ferrari boys – hell, Michael Schumacher would probably pay double!
Back in the early noughties, if Ferrari had done this with Michael Schumacher there would be much talk of bias and how Schumi and Brawn have bent the rules again, but what do you all make of this – and didn’t you enjoy seeing Lewis pushing his car? We did – it should be a regular feature for the drivers to push their car out of the garage, then get in and drive… maybe not.