JUNE 23, 2012
Hamilton escapes penalty
A claim that Lewis Hamilton drove unnecessarily slowly between Turns 21 and 25 in Valencia qualifying, costing Nico Rosberg a shot at the front row of the grid, was thrown out by race stewards.
Rosberg will start the race sixth, four places behind Hamilton's front row McLaren and Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn said: "We had reasonable pace but Michael (Schumacher) didn't get all his sectors together and with Nico it was even more frustrating.
"He had a good balance and looked like he could challenge for the front row until he got caught up with Lewis. Nico had Maldonado behind him and was conscious of giving Maldonado clearance to finish his lap, but Lewis backed him up into Maldonado, which was the end of our second Q3 run."
The race stewards, having heard representations from both teams and drivers, took no further action.
Their decision read: "The sector time for Car 4 (Hamilton) was actually faster than a time set previously in the same sector by Car 8 (Rosberg), which is an indication that Car 4 was not being driven unnecessarily slowly... The smallest gap between Car 4 and Car 8 was 18 metres and 1.1 seconds."