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Dutch hit out at penalty.

A1 Team Netherlands driver Jeroen Bleekemolen and seat-holder Jan Lammers were both left angered by the decision to hit the team with a penalty during the feature race at Sepang.

Bleekemolen was given a drive-through penalty for avoidable contact in the second race of the weekend in Malaysia which cost the Dutch team a possible podium finish and instead left Bleekemolen with eight place at the chequered flag.

From ninth on the grid in the sprint race, Bleekemolen produced a trouble-free run to finish in sixth place but the controversial moment of the weekend would occur at the start of the feature race.

Heading into turn one for the first time, Bleekemolen made contact with the Indian car of Narain Karthikeyan, which was forced to retire on the spot.

That left Bleekemolen in sixth place but he climbed to fourth before pitting for his mandatory stop. However, Bleekemolen was then given a drive-through penalty for the incident with Karthikeyan at the start, which dropped him down the order and left the Dutch team with eighth place at the flag after a late recovery into the points.

“Again we had bad luck today,” Bleekemolen reflected. “It is a shame to get a penalty over nothing. At the start I was right behind Great Britain who braked. I also had to brake, slid outwards a bit touching India. I had the choice of either crashing into the rear of Great Britain or going outwards. If I could have avoided this I would have agreed with the stewards immediately, but there was no way I could have done this.

“As far as the races are concerned, I had two good ones, fun as well. We had the pace and I was able to close gaps and overtake people. After our drive through we rejoined at the back and in the end you are able to get back to eighth. That is good, but I am angry about another ridiculous penalty we were given.”

Team boss Lammers was also far from amused with the stewards decision, especially after an incident in the sprint race where Adrian Zaugg slammed into the side of Fairuz Fauzy went unpunished.

“A completely ridiculous decision,” he said. “This clearly was a normal race incident. Jeroen was very close behind Team Great Britain, which braked. Because of this Jeroen had to brake as well and just slid out a bit, touching the car of former F1-driver Narain Karthikeyan.

“If there is one thing you want to avoid in Formula racing it is a collision with the front wheels, to even think that you would do this on purpose is farcical. The decision of the stewards is not even worth the argument. It is the start and first corner of the race, at a start of a marathon it is also squeezing through.

“This decision is in sharp contrast with the contact South Africa had in the sprint race, where they T-boned Malaysia and they got away with it.”


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Jeroen Bleekemolen - A1 Team Netherlands [Pic credit: A1GP]
A1 Team Netherlands star Jeroen Bleekemolen at the annual Rizla Racing Day
A1 Team Netherlands star Jeroen Bleekemolen in action at the annual Rizla Racing Day
A1GP grid girls add a touch of glamour at Zandvoort in the Netherlands [pic credit: A1GP Media]
A1GP grid girls add a touch of glamour at Zandvoort in the Netherlands [pic credit: A1GP Media]
Jeroen Bleekemolen - A1 Team Netherlands [Pic credit: A1GP]
Robert Doornbos in action in the Algarve [Pic credit: A1GP]
Robert Doornbos on track in Portugal [Pic credit: A1GP]
Robert Doornbos takes pole in the Algarve [Pic credit: A1GP]
Robert Doornbos during practice in the Algarve [Pic credit: A1GP]
Earl Bamber - A1 Team New Zealand [Pic credit: A1GP]
Loic Duval - A1 Team France [Pic credit: A1GP]
The crash at the start of the Sepang sprint race [Pic credit: A1GP]
Danny Watts - A1 Team Great Britain [Pic credit: A1GP]
Danny Watts - A1 Team Great Britain [Pic credit: A1GP]
Marco Andretti - A1 Team USA [Pic credit: A1GP]
Adam Carroll - A1 Team Ireland [Pic credit: A1GP]
Adam Carroll - A1 Team Ireland [Pic credit: A1GP]

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Halo - Unregistered

February 18, 2009 12:42 PM

You are not "of colour", hence it follows directly that you can't do the same as them and get away with it! What do you expect from politicised racing anyway.... :?



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