What's Going On With All The Deleted Lap Times In F1 Qualifying Today?

Pastor Maldonado was among those who had lap times deleted during today’s Formula One British Grand Prix qualifying session. Tyranny! Unfair! Taxation without repre—nah, it’s just a ruling the FIA made about Turn 9. Here’s why several fast lap times disappeared into thin air.

Silverstone is now a lovely modern circuit with buttloads of runoff, making it easy to exceed the track boundaries with zero crashy consequences. Race director Charlie Whiting sent out a note this morning to teams that explained that “we will be adopting a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to cars leaving the track on the exit of turn 9 during qualifying.”


Per Article 12.3.1.d of the Sporting Code, any lap where a driver doesn’t keep it on the actual track at Turn 9 during qualifying would be deleted unless officials deemed that the off was a flub beyond the driver’s control. You can carry more speed if you don’t take the tighter line that stays on the surface there, hence the harsh penalty.

Qualifying had quite a few quick laps that didn’t count because of the Turn 9 crackdown, but ultimately, it was Lewis Hamilton who claimed a 46th career pole position, laying down a flying lap at the start of Q3 that was just 0.113 seconds faster than Nico Rosberg. Windy conditions kept either driver from improving on their early times, locking Rosberg into a second place start. Williams had a great showing in qualifying, with both cars finishing in third and fourth place ahead of the two Ferraris.

You can view the full qualifying results here.

Photo credit: Formula One

Contact the author at stef.schrader@jalopnik.com.

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