November 2nd, 2013 (F1Plus / Chris Cameron-Dow) - Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen has been relegated to the back of the grid for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after his car failed a post-qualifying floor deflection test.
The floor of the car is permitted a maximum vertical deflection of 5mm when subjected to a load of 2000 Newtons. Two cars were subjected to this test - Raikkonen's Lotus and Nico Hulkenberg's Sauber. The Sauber passed the test, but the floor of Raikkonen's Lotus was found to deflect too much in the applied test.
As the car is deemed to have been illegal during the qualifying session, Raikkonen has been excluded from the results. The stewards have, however, allowed him to start from the back of the field.
Lotus appealed the penalty on the grounds that the floor was damaged due to contact with a kerb. The rules do allow for accident damage, but in this case the stewards did not accept that the floor had been damaged due to an accident as claimed by the team. The penalty stands and Raikkonen will start tomorrow's race from last on the grid.
In 2012, Sebastian Vettel started from the pit-lane after being excluded from qualifying for having insufficient fuel to provide a sample to the FIA after the session. He went on to finish third in the race. That result could give Raikkonen hope of a decent result tomorrow.