Nick Heidfeld Docked Three Places at Singapore for Blocking Rubens Barrichello

Adam PooleAnalyst ISeptember 27, 2008

Nick Heidfeld has been given a three-place grid drop for the start of today's Singapore Grand Prix, for blocking Rubens Barrichello on entering the pits.

The BMW Sauber driver was demoted from sixth to ninth after Singapore stewards claimed he had impeded Barrichello in yesterday's first qualifying session.

The pit lane entry has attracted much criticism from drivers and fans because of the fact that it gives drivers who are about to pit little option but to use the racing line at the apex of the corner. Still, the stewards  judged that Heidfeld was at fault and handed on the grid drop.

Barrichello was also handed a fine of 10,000 euro for diving into the pits after aborting his lap without using the "deceleration zone" located before the pit gateway. Ironically, it was the same piece of racetrack Heidfeld had been occupying and had been given a grid-drop for doing so.

In my opinion, the stewards at Singapore would rather hand out fines and grid-drops than face up to the fact that this track still has some flaws. 

Why wouldn't it have?  It's the first time it has been raced on and was constructed in just 18 months.  They need to have a look at some of these flaws, as they are dangerous and could result in injury.

The revised starting grid for today's race looks like this:

1.  MASSA          Ferrari      
2.  HAMILTON      McLaren      
3.  RAIKKONEN     Ferrari      
4.  KUBICA          BMW          
5.  KOVALAINEN   McLaren              
6.  VETTEL         Toro Rosso    
7.  GLOCK           Toyota        
8.  ROSBERG       Williams
9.  HEIDFELD*     BMW         
10. NAKAJIMA     Williams      
11. TRULLI         Toyota        
12. BUTTON        Honda        
13. WEBBER        Red Bull      
14. COULTHARD   Red Bull      
15. ALONSO        Renault      
16. PIQUET         Renault       
17. BOURDAIS     Toro Rosso    
18. BARRICHELLO  Honda        
19. SUTIL           Force India   
20. FISICHELLA    Force India

As always, your opinions are valued and I'd love to hear your take on this issue. Drop me a line in comments.