Four races and no penalties for Hamilton, the year had been going well for Lewis, plenty of good solid points finishes leave him currently only 2nd to Vettel in the championship.   Better still, earlier today he had a stellar qualifying session to leave him in pole position for the Spanish Grand Prix – with the pole sitter usually going on to win the race around the Catalunya circuit, he was in good shape to grab his first win of the 2012 season.

The only snag is that after his super-quick lap, he was told to stop the car out on track, which he duly did.  The rules state that all cars must return to the parc ferme after qualifying – the rule’s there so that the FIA can ensure legality of the cars and what not.  The only acceptable circumstances are where the car is technically unable to make it back to the pits under its own power.  Whatever the situation, the car must have enough fuel left in it to make it back to the pits and also the litre sample remaining too, required for checking the fuel compound.

Hamilton’s car was found to not have enough fuel left in it – this rule was put in place to stop teams running cars too light to give them more speed, but meaning they have to stop out on track – a huge nightmare for Lewis who now, throughout no fault of his own has to start from the back of the grid for the Grand Prix.

Maldonado is of course chuffed to hear he’s inherited pole position, with some calling it a belated birthday gift for his team’s owner, Sir Frank Williams (he turned 70 last month) –  Tomorrow’s grand prix just got a little more exciting…

Maldonado happy with Pole Position for the Spanish GP
Maldonado happy with Pole Position for the Spanish GP - credit: Simon Lazenby via Twitter

Revised Grid for the Grand Prix

POSDRIVERTEAM
1Pastor MaldonadoWilliams F1 - Renault
2Fernando AlonsoFerrari
3Romain GrosjeanLotus F1 - Renault
4Kimi RaikkonenLotus F1 - Renault
5Sergio PerezSauber - Ferrari
6Nico RosbergMercedes AMG
7Sebastian VettelRed Bull Racing - Renault
8Michael SchumacherMercedes AMG
9Kamui KobayashiSauber - Ferrari
10Jenson ButtonMcLaren - Mercedes
11Mark WebberRed Bull Racing - Renault
12Paul Di-RestaSahara Force India - Mercedes
13Nico HulkenbergSahara Force India - Mercedes
14Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso - Ferrari
15Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso - Ferrari
16Felipe MassaFerrari
17Bruno SennaWilliams F1 - Renault
18Vitaly PetrovCaterham - Renault
19Heikki KovalainenCaterham - Renault
20Charles PicMarussia - Cosworth
21Timo GlockMarussia - Cosworth
22Pedro de-la-RosaHispania - Cosworth
23Narain KarthikeyanHispania - Cosworth
24Lewis HamiltonMcLaren - Mercedes