Both Romain Grosjean and Jolyon Palmer have received grid penalties after being found guilty of failing to slow sufficiently when Antonio Giovinazzi crashed late during qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix.
The FIA analysed the situation after the conclusion to the session, and both the Haas F1 Team driver and the Renault Sport Formula 1 Team driver will lose five places on the grid at the Shanghai International Circuit, but as they qualified seventeenth and eighteenth respectively it means they will only lose two places on the grid.
Palmer felt that he did slow down for the yellow flags after the Sauber F1 Team spun and hit the wall on exiting the final turn, but with the regulations changed last season to ensure drivers abandon fast laps should double waved yellow flags be waved.
“I lost a second in the last sector, I slowed a lot,” said Palmer. “I knew there was a problem in the last corner. If they look at the data, they’ll see that I was basically cruising across the line.”
Grosjean also questioned the decision the penalty, feeling he also slowed down in the incident zone, and insisted his improvement was down to his first lap being seventeen seconds slower due to a spin of his own at the final turn.
“I backed off before the corner, took the corner slowly,” said Grosjean. “I didn’t go to the pit because the engineer told me it was a single-yellow flag so that could just be a spin and going again, I didn’t know it was a crash.
“I lost one second and I was fully backed off before the corner, and after the corner. The first lap was 17 seconds off, so of course I was going to go faster. The first time I was sideways, a bit on the grass, spinning the car around.”
Both drivers were also handed three penalty points onto their Superlicence’s, the first three for Grosjean but Palmer now has seven to his name. Should a driver acquire twelve in any twelve month period, they will serve a one-race ban.