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

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