If there was not enough fuel to test the fuel, then it would be the appropiate penalty, because they can't check if the fuel is legal. And hence it would be illegal.You'd scratch the result and he'd have to start last (actually you could even argue that he'd have to be disqualified completely, but that'd be harsh imo).
But if there was enough to test, but not enough to drive back, then it would be a bit harsh. Then dropping 5 or 10 places would be better.
It was only for Hamilton's final lap in Q3 which he benefited, so to strike all of his other times is overly harsh.
He was fastest on merit in Q1, Q2 and would have been in Q3 even with an extra 10 litres of fuel in, never mind 2.
However, the rules are the rules and the penalty for failing to get back to the pits and provide a sample of sufficient quantity is disqualification.
I voted to exclude his Q3 timings because it would have been more appropriate but in my ignorance I must ask this - do the FIA test the fuel between the qualifying sessions i.e. between Q2 and Q3?
But how many times are Mclaren going to shoot Hamilton in the foot? It is actually ridiculous - some of the strategic decisions they have made on his part have been unexplainable to say the least and then to mislead the stewards like that after what happened 3 years ago in Oz is just mind boggling. If I were him I'd be seriously considering a move.
I voted for a more appropiate penalty.I feel that the team should be punished not Hamilton.His times from earlier laps should be applied and only times from Q3 removed.
McLaren should punished very severely with a very heavy fine and any WCC points from this race by both Button and Hamilton should be witheld from the team.
Hamilton is not guilty of breaking any rules and should not be punished for his teams mistakes.
I voted for appropriate punishment. I always thought criticsm of Whitmarsh had been unfair but after seeing his explanation of Hamilton's problem and the incredible foolishness of his lying antics when interviewed immediately after LH's track-stoppage I'm seeing him under a completely different light all of a sudden. The stewards must have felt something along the lines of "does he really think we're stupid or something". They wouldn't have been impressed.
Still can't believe it.
I voted appropriate, it was clear from the moment Lewis was told to stop on the track what was going on and the team would have known from the moment he went on track that he did not have enough fuel be it by design or by accident, all they had to do was look at the telemetry and tell him to abandon the run, he would have still had a good grid position from his first run and yet they decided not to do this on top of which, they then try and con the stewards, not for the first time, remember Australia 2009?
The reason I think the penalty is fair on Lewis is because he is part of a team and so should not be free from punishment, after all if Lewis makes a mistake on track and loses points then all the team suffers and so it should hold that the opposite is true.
If you are going to blame someone then blame the team not the stewards for enforcing the rules..
A 10 place grid drop or his times excluded, but considering that there was some other things going on, such as misleading the stewards, so I think the current penalty is appropriate, kind of in 2 minds.
But if a driver gets a gearbox or an engine penalty, then it's probably fair for this aswell, as in both occasions the team has let them down.
Whilst it may seem overly harsh, it is designed to send a message to other teams not to do this again! I suppose the reason for this is effectively the stewards have decided that since the car failed to make it back to the pits, without force majeure, then that car failed scrutineering. As such, the only punishment that they could give was excluding the car from qualifying!
However.. I would say that I would be tempted to extend the ruling to all cars who fail to return to the pits under their own power. If they have mechanical problems, spin off and get beached, or some other reason, then they should start the race from the back of the grid. Qualifying is being treated as part of the race nowadays, so of the car fails, for sure allow repairs, but any repairs should either lead to starting at the back, or preferably from the pitlane!
I said this before on another forum when it happened in Canada lets just assume it was allowed and every team in the Q3 did it, the following issues would occur
The track would become a parking lot and the marshals would have to send out recovery vehicles to collect all the cars taking a lot of time and in today's would have interfered with the start of the next event (Formula two.)
Not enough fuel for analyses.
Cars in the way while the track is still active and drivers are on flying laps even if it is parked on the side of the track a yellow flag would have to be shown ruining other drivers laps (Schumacher, Monaco ring a bell)
The possibility of cars being interfered with whilst under parc ferme conditions.
A danger to drivers and marshals.
And probably others that I can't even think of at the moment.
Hamiltons penalty may seem overly harsh but anything less would be unfair on every driver that starts behind him. How would Red Bull or Mercedes or any other team feel if he had only been given a 5 place grid penalty and they were still behind him on the grid. It needs to be realized his time was achieved by fueling light.