Kimi Raikkonen has been excluded from qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after a technical infringement on his car, causing it to fail a post-session inspection.
The technical report read:
“After the qualifying practice session an assymetric LHS front floor deflection test was carried on car numbers seven and eleven. Car number seven did not comply with article 3.17.5 of the 2013 FIA Formula One technical regulations as the front floor deflected more than 5mm vertically when the load was applied vertically to it at the point which lies 100mm of car centre line on the LHS.”
Seven minutes after this report was published, the stewards requested that the team explain why Raikkonen’s car failed the test with a meeting scheduled for 20:15 local time.
Two hours later, the stewards confirmed that Raikkonen had been excluded from the results due to the infringement. However, he will be able to start from the back of the grid in tomorrow’s race.
“The stewards heard the explanation of the team that the relevant part broke upon contact with a kerb. However, the stewards did not accept that the incident referred to constituted an accident, or excused failing the relevant test.”
This is not a new occurrence for Lotus. At the Hungarian Grand Prix, Romain Grosjean’s car suffered a similar problem, but the team proved that the car only failed the test due to damage caused to the floor by the kerbs at the track. The stewards accepted this reasoning and took no further action, but Lotus have been unable to convince them of the same reasoning here in Abu Dhabi.
Raikkonen will now start the race from last on the grid, but it is likely that he will follow the example set by Sebastian Vettel at last year’s race in Abu Dhabi and instead start from the pit lane, allowing Lotus to make some changes to his car overnight.
— Luke Smith (@LukeSmithF1) November 2, 2013