NASCAR & Auto Racing

Alonso dropped from pole after FIA ruling

BUDAPEST, Hungary – Fernando Alonso was dropped from the pole of the Hungarian Grand Prix and will start sixth after a ruling by FIA on Saturday.

World motor sport’s governing body overruled stewards and determined that the two-time defending Formula One champion and his McLaren team had delayed teammate Lewis Hamilton during a pit stop.

FIA also ruled that any points McLaren earns in Sunday’s 70-lap race will only count toward the driver standings – and not the constructors championship.

Hamilton, who leads Alonso in the driver standings 70-68, will take the pole.

Hamilton had questioned Alonso’s tactics after a lengthy pit stop, and FIA issued a statement detailing its ruling one hour after the qualifying placings –with Alonso first and Hamilton second – had been sanctioned by the stewards.

FIA’s statement said that McLaren kept Alonso stationary for 20 seconds after the completion of a tire change and “therefore delayed Hamilton’s own pit stop.”

“The actions of the team in the final minutes of qualifying are considered prejudicial to the interests of the competition and to the interests of motor sport generally,” the statement said. “The penalty to be applied is that such points (if any) in the Formula One constructors championship as accrue to the team as a result of their participation in the 2007 Hungarian Grand Prix will be withdrawn.”

McLaren leads the constructor standings with 138 points to 111 for Ferrari.

Nick Heidfeld of BMW-Sauber will start second and Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari will start third.

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