German Grand Prix – Alfa Romeo drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi have been handed time penalties for a breach of technical regulations, losing them points.
Raikkonen and Giovinazzi had finished the race at the Hockenheimring in seventh and eighth respectively, taking ten points from the race.
Despite this, soon after the race they were investigated for a potential breach of Article 27.1 of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations, which specify that “the driver must drive the car alone and unaided”.
The investigation related to the driver’s getaways from the starting grid, specifically how the torque demand from the driver matches the actual torque in the clutch.
The FIA demands that the output from the clutch matches the driver input within a 70 millisecond time frame. At the start of the race, the Alfa Romeo cars took 200 and 300 milliseconds to match the output with the input.
This regulation exists to prevent teams using their ECUs as a form of traction control and, whilst Alfa Romeo argued that this occurred because of the lack of wet-weather practice, the only course of action was to issue a ten second stop-and-go penalty.
As this stop-and-go penalty cannot be served after the race (because the issue was not spotted in-race by the stewards), the penalty is converted into a 30-second post-race time penalty.
This means that Raikkonen and Giovinazzi are demoted to 12th and 13th respectively.
As a result, Haas drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen are promoted to seventh and eighth, whilst Lewis Hamilton has salvaged two points for a ninth-place finish.
Also benefiting from the result is Williams’ Robert Kubica, who now takes the final point-paying position of tenth place, and claims the team’s first point of the 2019 season.
Alfa Romeo team principal Frederic Vasseur has confirmed that the team intends to appeal the decision.