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Penalties leave a very different Suzuka grid

NEWS STORY
06/10/2012

Mat Coch writes:

The cars will line up for tomorrow's Japanese Grand Prix in a very different order to that determined in qualifying after four drivers took penalties following the session.

Michael Schumacher carried a ten-place penalty over from Singapore while both Jenson Button and Nico Hulkenberg have taken five-place demotions as a result of gearbox changes. Stewards also deemed that Jean-Eric Vergne impeded Bruno Senna during the first phase of qualifying, handing the Frenchman a three-place penalty.

Pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel had been summoned to the stewards after he was alleged to have impeded Fernando Alonso in the dying moments of qualifying, though the German was let off with a reprimand.

The complicated way in which the FIA applies penalties has led to a number of different versions of the grid being published. While the FIA won't finalise the order until an hour before the start of the race, Pitpass has made sense of it for you.

Penalties are applied in chronological order with the grid reshuffled after each is applied. Schumacher's ten-place penalty was applied first before a new grid was then made. Button's gearbox change, got applied before the process was repeated for both Hulkenberg's and Vergne's penalties.

It explains why Vergne will start 19th and not 16th, 17th or 20th, depending which version of the grid you happen to have seen. The Frenchman set the 17th fastest time in qualifying and was effectively promoted to 16th once Schumacher's penalty was applied. Following the chronological rule his own three place penalty was applied and therefore drops him to 19th.

It leaves a grid which sees most drivers gain at least one spot, and in some instances two, with only four maintaining their original grid slot; Vettel, Mark Webber, Lewis Hamilton and Narain Karthikeyan.

Pos Driver Team
1 Vettel Red Bull
2 Webber Red Bull
3 Kobayashi Sauber
4 Grosjean Lotus
5 Perez Sauber
6 Alonso Ferrari
7 Raikkonen Lotus
8 Button McLaren
9 Hamilton McLaren
10 Massa Ferrari
11 Di Resta Force India
12 Maldonado Williams
13 Rosberg Mercedes
14 Ricciardo Toro Rosso
15 Hulkenberg Force India
16 Senna Williams
17 Kovalainen Caterham
18 Glock Marussia
19 Vergne Toro Rosso
20 De la Rosa HRT
21 Pic Marussia
22 Petrov Caterham
23 Schumacher Mercedes
24 Karthikeyan HRT

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