Jenson Button has a few moments to himself before Qualifying
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Lewis Hamilton gets in his car for Qualifying
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Lewis Hamilton during Qualifying
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Jenson Button during Qualifying – can you guess where?
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Lewis Hamilton gets ready to attack Michael Schumacher
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Lewis Hamilton after over taking Michael Schumacher
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Jenson Button hunts down Nico Rosberg for the lead
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Jenson Button passes Nico Rosberg
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Jenson Button leads the procession behind the safety car
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Jenson Button Wins
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Jenson and Lewis hug – the first McLaren 1-2 of the season
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Jenson with his winner’s trophy
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Jenson and Lewis celebrate, their victorious McLaren MP4-25s next to them
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The celebration continues
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Well done Team McLaren
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Category Archives: Chinese
1st – Sebastian Vettel
2nd – Fernando Alonso
3rd – Mark Weber
4th – Jenson Button
6th – Lewis Hamilton
There are more details to follow, but @f1scoop lived up to its name by being the first on Twitter to announce that McLaren’s punishment is a 3 race suspended ban. After clarification from @F1_Girl, I understand this to mean that the ban is looming, and can be handed to McLaren by the FIA the next time they mess up.
I’m relieved that there is no ban in place now and have to hope that McLaren can stay squeaky clean for the rest of the season. I would assume that the ban is valid for the rest of the season only, and will not roll over to the 2010 season.
When the details are revealed I’ll also be interested to see if the ban applies to both Hamilton and Kovalainen, or just Hamilton as he was the only driver involved in the incident.
UPDATE: Here is the press release from the FIA / WMSC Statement:
At an extraordinary meeting of the World Motor Sport Council held in Paris on 29 April 2009, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes admitted five charges of breaching article 151c of the International Sporting Code relating to events at the Australian and Malaysian Grand Prix.
The following decision was taken:
“Having regard to the open and honest way in which McLaren Team Principal, Mr Martin Whitmarsh, addressed the WMSC and the change in culture which he made clear has taken place in his organisation, the WMSC decided to suspend the application of the penalty it deems appropriate.
“That penalty is a suspension of the team from three races of the FIA Formula One World Championship. This will only be applied if further facts emerge regarding the case or if, in the next 12 months, there is a further breach by the team of article 151c of the International Sporting Code.”
The full reasons for this decision will be issued shortly.
It would seem that the suspension will be for the whole team if it gets applied, which is especially harsh for Kovalainen who was not directly involved.
The ban will come into effect if there is any further breach of article 151c by McLaren. The aforementioned article states: This article covers “any fraudulent conduct or any act prejudicial to the interests of any competition or to the interests of motor sport generally”.
The ban could also come in at any time in the next 12 months if McLaren are found in breach of article 151c, so that will include the first 4 races of the 2010 races as well as the remainder of the 2009 season.
I’m sure there are some that will say McLaren have been let off lightly – I’m just happy that Hamilton and Kovalainen will be able to continue racing and will keep the points they have won so far.
Let us now go forward, put this to the back of our memories and concentrate on a very exciting Formula 1 season.
My very bold race prediction for tomorrow in Shanghai is as follows, taking into account the predicted rainfall during the race:
1st – Lewis Hamilton (McLaren Mercedes)
2nd – Fernando Alonso (Renault)
3rd – Jenson Button (Brawn Mercedes)
I predict Heikki Kovalainen will finish in 8th place.
After finishing P3 in second, Lewis Hamilton went on to qualify for tomorrow’s Chinese Grand Prix 9th on the grid. When the fuel loads were released a few hours later it became evident that Lewis’s car was fuelled heavier than the cars in front of him, considerably so in some cases.
Kovalainen qualified in 12th, though it does appear that one of the Red Bulls held him up, for which there could be an enquiry. Bit of a novel concept to have an enquiry that could go in favour of McLaren, they won’t know what’s hit them! Interestingly the 2 Red Bulls finished qualifying in 1st and 3rd (Vettel taking pole), so a penalty for either of them would be crushing. I’m just hoping Heikki can at least complete one whole lap in tomorrow’s race, something that has eluded him in the last 2 races.
With an interim diffuser and a new front wing, it seems Lewis is well on his way to driving a competitive car once again. Add in his superior driving skills and this season is not going to be such a downer for McLaren than a lot of people were thinking, and probably hoping for!