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Hamilton stripped of pole

NEWS STORY
12/05/2012

Race Stewards at Barcelona have stripped Lewis Hamilton of pole position, thereby handing pole position to Williams Pastor Maldonado.

The official FIA statement reads as follows:

"The Stewards received a report from the Race Director which stated that during post-qualifying scrutineering a sample of fuel was required from car 4, 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 6.6.2 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."

Speaking in reaction to the decision, Hamilton said: ""This is such a disappointment. Today's session was one of the best I've ever driven - the whole car was just rolling so smoothly - it felt fantastic. 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."

The ruling means that Pastor Maldonado will start from pole position, the team's first pole since Nico Hulkenberg took everyone by surprise in Brazil in 2010.

Prior to that, the Grove outfit's last pole was at the Nurburgring in 2005, a gap of 100 races.

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