Pascal Wehrlein was one of three drivers to receive reprimands at the conclusion of the opening free practice session for the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring on Friday.
The Manor Racing driver was handed the reprimand after failing to slow down significantly enough during a virtual safety car period during the session, with the reprimand his first of his rookie season.
A statement from the stewards deemed a reprimand the correct punishment for the offence after evidence from Wehrlein post-session.
“The driver gave evidence that he thought his speed would reduce much quicker than it did, and that he was surprised at how long it took to get to within the correct time due to this occurring on a very fast straight, which he had not previously experienced,” said the statement. “Accordingly, a reprimand is deemed the appropriate penalty.”
Wehrlein’s team-mate Rio Haryanto also was handed his first reprimand of the season after rejoining the circuit in an unsafe manner in front of the Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo following an off track moment.
“Despite the driver’s assertion that he thought RIC (Ricciardo) would slow sufficiently under the yellow flag to allow HAR (Haryanto) to re-join the track safely, the Stewards are of the view that there was potential risk in the manoeuvre and that it was not safe,” read the stewards decision.
The third driver to fall foul of the stewards was Marcus Ericsson, who was deemed to have been guilty of causing an incident with Ricciardo, who was forced to take avoiding action around the Sauber F1 Team driver as the Swede negotiated turn eight on the way to the pit lane.
Ricciardo felt Ericsson was not at fault for the incident, blaming the track layout, but the stewards felt Ericsson could have slowed sooner before the apex to allow the Red Bull driver to pass.