German GP: Alfa Romeo penalised

Alfa Romeo drivers Raikkonen and Giovinazzi were demoted from the top 10 after the FIA found a clutch-related infringement for the standing start.

Essentially the system seems to mimic traction control in wet conditions.

The stewards noted:

“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 and 300 milliseconds 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 Stewards held a hearing and reviewed the data, with three members of the team present, including the engineers concerned, along with the FIA Technical Delegate and his assistants responsible for these checks. The team accepted that they were not within the required limits.

The Stewards accepted the team’s explanation that the cause of this was that they were caught out by the unusual weather conditions and the fact that they did not do any practice starts under these climatic conditions and set the parameters in a way that failed to meet the requirements.

However, the Stewards noted that the FIA Technical Delegates check this parameter on all cars, and that no other irregularities were found. The obligation to meet the requirements is irrespective of the climatic conditions. Therefore, the Stewards considered that a Breach of Article 27.1 occurred.”

The change of result means both drop out of the points and Grosjean and Magnussen are promoted, with Hamilton and Kubica in the top 10. This marks the first point for Williams in 2019.

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