Ericsson Handed Grid Penalty after Yellow Flag Offence in China Qualifying


Marcus Ericsson - Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team
Credit: Sauber Motorsport AG

Marcus Ericsson was handed a five-place grid penalty for the Chinese Grand Prix and three penalty points on his Superlicence after the Swede was deemed to have ignored yellow flags during Qualifying on Saturday.

Ironically, the yellow flags were for Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team team-mate Charles Leclerc who had spun exiting the final turn, but the FIA deemed he had not slowed sufficiently for the incident and was handed the penalty and penalty points.

Ericsson will not actually lose any positions on the grid at the Shanghai International Circuit after qualifying right at the back of the field.

“The Stewards heard from Marcus Ericsson, the driver of car 9 and the team representative and reviewed the video evidence which clearly showed that the driver attempted to set a meaningful lap time after passing through a double waved yellow marshalling sector, contrary to the requirements set out in the Race Director’s Event Notes (10.1) in breach of Article 12.1.1 i,” read the statement from the FIA.

Ericsson admitted post-qualifying that he made a mistake to continue on with the lap, although he did acknowledge there was a breakdown in communication between team and driver, with their usual procedures not being followed.

“In the end it was my mistake but it was a bit of a misunderstanding because we have a procedure that the engineers call out ‘yellow flag’ or ‘double yellow abort lap’,” Ericsson is quoted as saying by Motorsport.com.

“On the pit wall they mixed it up and they called out ‘yellow flag’, so in my head I was on my qualy lap and I knew I needed to lift but can continue the lap.

“I was reacting like it was a normal yellow and that’s what I told the stewards as well, I just said it was a bit of a mix up in communication, they could hear on the radio the team call out normal yellow.

“I should have aborted the lap so it was fair enough.”