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Hamilton promoted to ninth due to twin Alfa Romeo penalties

Daniel Herrero

Monday 29th July, 2019 - 10:30am

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Both Alfa Romeos have been penalised

Lewis Hamilton and Robert Kubica have been classified in the points after both Alfa Romeos were penalised for clutch system infringements in the German Grand Prix.

Kimi Raikkonen provisionally finished seventh and Antonio Giovinazzi eighth but each had 30 seconds added to their race times, the equivalent of 10-second stop-go penalties, which dropped them to 12th and 13th.

The issue was how the clutches in the Alfa Romeos operated at the start, which took place after three extra formation laps due to the wet conditions that led to a chaotic race.

Both cars were investigated for a potential breach of sporting regulation Article 27.1, which states that “the driver must drive the car alone and unaided” and/or technical regulation Article 9.3.

The latter states: “No car may be equipped with a system or device which is capable of preventing the driven wheels from spinning under power or of compensating for excessive torque demand by the driver.

“Any device or system which notifies the driver of the onset of wheel spin is not permitted.”

The stewards report stated that the engagement of the Alfa Romeo clutches was akin to a traction control application.

“The clutch is controlled electronically via the Common ECU. However, the teams have the option to tune some of the controlling parameters,” it read in part.

“In order to prevent the teams from using this tuning to affect the way in which the clutch engages at the start of the race in a way that could potentially mimic traction control or other advantageous schemes, the FIA requires that the torque in the clutch matches (within specified limits) the torque demand as the driver releases the clutch. This must occur within 70 milliseconds.

“In the case of both cars of Alfa Romeo Racing, the time that it took for the torque to align with the torque demand was close to 200 milliseconds (Raikkonen) and 300 milliseconds (Giovinazzi) respectively. This provided a more gradual application of the torque, which given the wet conditions was a potential advantage.

“Regardless of whether there was an actual advantage, the Stewards determined that this was a clear breach of the guidance given to the teams as to how this would be adjudicated.”

The team cited the “unusual weather conditions” as a reason for the discrepancy, but that was not deemed to have exonerated them.

Alfa Romeo boss Frederic Vasseur says that the team will appeal.

“It is extremely disappointing to have both cars penalised and pushed out of the points in what had been such an exciting race,” he noted.

“The situation arose during the laps we spent behind the Safety Car ahead of the standing start: we suffered a dysfunction of the clutch that was beyond our control and we will further investigate the issue.

“We respect the FIA’s process and the stewards’ work, but will appeal this decision as we believe we have the grounds and evidence to have it overturned.

“In this regard, we will be in touch with the FIA soon.”

For the time being, Hamilton leads the world drivers’ championship by 41 points over Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas, having initially finished 11th following an in-race penalty for an improper pit entry after a wild spin.

The point for Kubica would be Williams’ first of the campaign.

Haas pair Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen, who were originally classified ninth and 10th, were the other beneficiaries.

Race results: German Grand Prix Updated

Pos Num Driver Car Laps Time/Retired
1 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing Honda 64 1:44:31.275
2 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 64 +7.333
3 26 Daniil Kvyat Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda 64 +8.305
4 18 Lance Stroll Racing Point BWT Mercedes 64 +8.966
5 55 Carlos Sainz McLaren Renault 64 +9.583
6 23 Alexander Albon Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda 64 +10.052
7 8 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari 64 +16.838
8 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 64 +18.765
9 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 64 +19.667
10 88 Robert Kubica Williams Mercedes 64 +24.987
11 63 George Russell Williams Mercedes 64 +26.404
12 7 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari 64 +42.214
13 99 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari 64 +43.849
14 10 Pierre Gasly Red Bull Racing Honda 61 DNF
NC 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 56 DNF
NC 27 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 39 DNF
NC 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 27 DNF
NC 4 Lando Norris McLaren Renault 25 DNF
NC 3 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 13 DNF
NC 11 Sergio Perez Racing Point BWT Mercedes 1 DNF

Fastest lap: Max Verstappen

Drivers’ championship Updated

Pos Driver Pts
1 Lewis Hamilton 225
2 Valtteri Bottas 184
3 Max Verstappen 162
4 Sebastian Vettel 141
5 Charles Leclerc 120
6 Pierre Gasly 55
7 Carlos Sainz 48
8 Daniil Kvyat 27
9 Kimi Räikkönen 25
10 Lando Norris 22
11 Daniel Ricciardo 22
12 Lance Stroll 18
13 Kevin Magnussen 18
14 Nico Hulkenberg 17
15 Alexander Albon 15
16 Sergio Perez 13
17 Romain Grosjean 8
18 Antonio Giovinazzi 1
19 Robert Kubica 1
20 George Russell 0

Constructors’ championship Updated

Pos Team Pts
1 Mercedes 409
2 Ferrari 261
3 Red Bull Racing Honda 217
4 McLaren Renault 70
5 Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda 42
6 Renault 39
7 Racing Point BWT Mercedes 31
8 Haas Ferrari 26
9 Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari 26
10 Williams Mercedes 1

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