The official grid list will be released by the FIA on Sunday but Autosport has done a fine job of predicting the official grid for Sunday’s race:
Pos Driver Team
1. Vettel Red Bull-Renault
2. Trulli Toyota
3. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes
4. Heidfeld BMW-Sauber
5. Raikkonen Ferrari
6. Rosberg Williams-Toyota
7. Kubica BMW-Sauber
8. Sutil Force India-Mercedes *
9. Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes *
10. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari
11. Button Brawn-Mercedes *
12. Fisichella Ferrari
13. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes **
14. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari *
15. Nakajima Williams-Toyota
16. Grosjean Renault
17. Alonso Renault *
18. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes **
19. Glock Toyota ***
20. Webber Red Bull-Renault ***
* Five-place grid penalty
** Five-place grid penalty for changing gearbox
*** Will use new chassis so will start from the pitlane
The 5 drivers were penalized, as we suggested might happen, for not lifting off the throttle in Q2 when Sebastien Buemi brought out a local yellow for his clouting of the wall at the Spoon curve. There has been some confusion about the grid as who got penalized first and who is behind who. After reading the penalties and doing some math, I think Autosport are most likely correct in their assertion, and that’s not surprising given the source, and it should make for an interesting Grand Prix.
How does this play in the world championship or is it a factor? Red Bull needed some fate to keep Jenson Button out of the points and they may have gotten it in Japan but keeping Button out of the points may be a lot more difficult than just saying it. Button looked good during practice and qualifying.
Interestingly Buemi was also penalized for driving back to the pit with a damaged car. I’ll have to re-read that regulation as it seems odd but in the end they could argue it hampered or endangered other drivers and spread debris on the track.
Fair? Was it in 97 or 98 that Jacques Villenueve was DQ’d from the Japanese Grand Prix for accelerating through a local yellow?