Renault's Vitaly Petrov has been punished by the stewards following the F1 2010 Japanese Grand Prix today.

The stewards ruled post-race that he had breach the regulations by causing a collision with the Williams of Nico Hulkenberg at the start of the race. As a result he picks up a five-place grid penalty for the next event in Korea.

Speaking after the race, Petrov maintained that he had to move over because of Nick Heidfeld.

"I made a good start and managed to overtake [Felipe] Massa," Petrov explained. "I was then going passed Hulkenberg with [Nick] Heidfeld on my right when he started to move left and so I also had to move left to avoid him. Unfortunately I hit the side of Hulkenberg's car and this is why I crashed."

Hulkenberg, who was the innocent victim, added: "I had a bad start and I didn't get off the line at all. I then saw Petrov coming up behind me. He touched my front right wheel and that was it.

"You never want to finish a race that early, but today it happened and it was unfortunate for us both. The team are doing a really good job developing the car and that showed in our qualifying performance so it was a shame to finish that early."


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