16 Mar 2008
Barrichello disqualified, Raikkonen gains a point
Hondas Rubens Barrichello has been disqualified from sixth place in the Australian Grand Prix. Barrichello was penalised by stewards for exiting the pits under a red light. It means Ferraris Kimi Raikkonen moves up to eighth place and hence scores a point.
The penalty brought a sad end to what had been an eventful afternoon for Barrichello. After putting in a performance far stronger than anyone had predicted in the RA108, the Brazilian fell victim to unlucky timing when he was forced to pit for fuel under the safety car.
Not only did that infringement earn him a ten-second stop-go penalty, Barrichello also managed to drag over a mechanic as he left his box before the refuelling man had removed the hose from the car. He then rejoined the race, despite the red light at the end of the pit lane, a move which ultimately saw him excluded from the result
"Shortly after we called Rubens in for the second of two planned pit stops, Timo Glock had a crash and the safety car was deployed, explained team principal Ross Brawn. We had no alternative but to continue to bring him in because he was out of fuel, although we realised that the pit lane was going to be closed due to the safety car and that this would result in a ten-second stop-go penalty.
During the pit stop the lollipop was lifted just a fraction early while the fuel hose was just coming off the car. After the pit stop Rubens exited the pit lane when the lights were still red and obviously this is in breach of the regulations. A tough set of circumstances after an otherwise very committed drive by Rubens."
Barrichellos disqualification means Williams Kazuki Nakajima moves up to sixth place, while Toro Rossos Sebastien Bourdais is promoted to seventh, despite not finishing the race.