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|Hamilton stripped of pole after fuel penalty|
|Saturday, 12 May 2012 22:27|
BARCELONA, Spain (CMC) – McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton has been stripped of pole position in a shocking turn of events ahead of today’s Spanish Grand Prix at Circuit de Catalunya.
The Brit, whose paternal grandparents hail from the Caribbean island of Grenada, clocked one minute, 21.707 seconds to secure front row but was later hit with a fuel penalty and relegated to the back of the grid.
Hamilton, who stopped on the track following his qualifying run, did not have sufficient fuel to make it back to the pits and provide a sample, as Formula One rules requires.
A statement from F1 said a member of the McLaren team had not put enough fuel into the car, resulting in a breach of technical regulations.
Williams’ Pastor Maldonado, who finished second in a time of 1:22.285, has been promoted to pole with Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso now grabbing a share of front row with 1:22.302.
The Lotus pair of Romain Grosjean and former World champion Kimi Raikkonen will share the fourth row while Sauber’s Sergio Perez and Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg will comprise the third row.
Earlier, Hamilton had celebrated his third pole of the season as he eyed his first win in Spain, following a second place last year.
“It was a fantastic qualifying session for me. Really, I’m very happy with the way (it went). I think it’s one of the best ones I’ve ever had,” Hamilton said at the time.
“I really feel fantastic. I’m very, very happy. Normally you can always be happy with a pole position of course, but for some reason even more so this time than maybe any other qualifying that I’ve had, except for the first pole position I have had in Formula One.”
Hamilton, who has finished third in three of the four races this season, enters today’s race second in the standings, four points behind leader Vettel on 53 points.
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