Lance Stroll found himself handed a post-race ten-second penalty for ignoring blue flags during the Austrian Grand Prix, with the penalty relegating him behind team-mate Sergey Sirotkin in the final results.
The Williams Martini Racing driver had made a late second pit stop and exited the pits just ahead of Sergio Pérez, with his pit wall telling him to try and remain unlapped by the Sahara Force India F1 Team driver despite blue flags being shown by the marshals around the Red Bull Ring.
The stewards had made the point earlier in the weekend for drivers to take note at the earliest possible moment to the blue flags, so it was determined they should impose the time penalty and give the Canadian three points on his Superlicence for the offence.
“The driver of car 18 admitted he had seen the blue flags, light panels and the light on his steering wheel,” said the statement from the stewards. “He stated his team had told him to attempt to un-lap himself but had not advised him to let car 11 pass until almost one lap of flags and lights had been displayed to him.
“The reason for awarding 3 penalty points is that the issue of blue flags was specifically raised at the Friday night drivers’ briefing and confirmed in the Race Directors notes, in particular the requirement to allow the following car to pass ‘at the first available opportunity.’
“In this instance the driver decided to give priority to the team instruction (to un-lap himself) over the regulations and the race directors specific instructions (regarding the blue flag procedure).”
After moving up to eleventh in the early laps, Stroll had one eye on scoring what would have been only his second top ten result of the season, but Williams once again struggled for pace, and neither he nor team-mate Sirotkin were ultimately able to bring home points.
“I thought we could do better today,” said Stroll. “Looking where we were in qualifying, I hoped we could potentially fight with some of the other teams, but unfortunately today was kind of the same story but a different day.
“I had a decent start, gained some positions, but from there it was just survival and we were really slow to the end as we struggled with pace. We were struggling with tyres, temperatures and everything and couldn’t really do anything with our strategy today.”