As expected, Force India's Adrian Sutil has been penalised for impeding Red Bull rival Mark Webber in the first phase of qualifying in Bahrain, dropping behind the Australian on the grid for Sunday's race.

The incident occurred right at the end of the opening 20-minute session in Sakhir, with Webber on a flying lap that he hoped would elevate him above last spot on the grid. Up on his previous best, the Australian looked likely to escape the drop zone and secure at least a place in the top 15 on the grid, but Sutil's inadvertent move across the track robbed the Red Bull of momentum - and ultimately left Webber able only to move to 19th on the final timesheet.

Sutil was quick to admit his guilt, revealing that he had not expected Webber to be on a flying lap, and the stewards concurred, penalising the German three places on the grid, ironically slotting him into the spot previously occupied by his victim. Force India team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella moves up to 17th position as a result of the reshuffle, with Webber now 18th..

"It was quite a good qualifying, but conditions were very difficult out there," Sutil revealed, "There was a little problem with Mark Webber in the last corner - I was just trying to make a gap to Alonso to start my lap and Mark came in on a flying lap, but I didn't know that. I just tried to stay in my position to get a clear start to the lap. It was a misunderstanding and I apologised to Mark after the end of the session."