George Russell, Pierre Gasly & Esteban Ocon have each received a 2-place grid drop penalty for the Sao Paulo GP for impeding others in qualifying.
–by Mark Cipolloni–
The FIA published a directive for this weekend that allowed drivers to create a gap coming out of the pits, but only on the condition that they stuck to the left and allowed space for cars behind to pass.
Russell was captured driving slowly down the pit exit, with Gasly complaining over team radio that he was being impeded by the Mercedes driver. The stewards subsequently ruled that Russell was “driving slowly in the pit exit and was not as far to the left as possible”.
The stewards’ ruling added: “As a result, following car(s) were not able to overtake, as intended by the Race Director’s instructions. This clearly violates the wording and the spirit of item 14 of the Race Director’s Event Notes.”
Gasly and Ocon were also adjudged to have done the same in qualifying, with Red Bull’s Sergio Perez the driver who was impeded, and were hit with the same penalties as a result.
Russell will now start eighth for the race on Sunday, while Ocon and Gasly will drop to 14th and 15th on the grid respectively.
Revised 2023 Sao Paulo GP Starting Grid
|1||1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:10.436||1:10.162||1:10.727||18|
|3||18||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin Aramco Mercedes||1:10.551||1:10.375||1:11.344||16|
|4||14||Fernando Alonso||Aston Martin Aramco Mercedes||1:10.557||1:10.237||1:11.387||18|
|6||4||Lando Norris||Mclaren Mercedes||1:10.623||1:10.021||1:11.987||13|
|9||11||Sergio Perez||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:10.668||1:10.219||1:12.321||17|
|10||81||Oscar Piastri||Mclaren Mercedes||1:10.519||1:10.330||–||15|
|11||27||Nico Hulkenberg||Haas Ferrari||1:10.475||1:10.547||–||15|
|12||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||1:10.602||1:10.723||–||15|
|13||23||Alexander Albon||Williams Mercedes||1:10.621||1:10.840||–||15|
|14||31||Esteban Ocon||Alpine Renault||1:10.763||1:10.562||–||15|
|15||10||Pierre Gasly||Alpine Renault||1:10.793||1:10.567||–||14|
|16||22||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri Honda||1:10.837||–||–||9|
|17||3||Daniel Ricciardo||AlphaTauri Honda||1:10.843||–||–||6|
|18||77||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo Ferrari||1:10.955||–||–||9|
|19||2||Logan Sargeant||Williams Mercedes||1:11.035||–||–||9|
|20||24||Zhou Guanyu||Alfa Romeo Ferrari||1:11.275||–||–||9|