Caterham's Heikki Kovalainen has been handed a five-place grid penalty for the Malaysian Grand Prix next weekend.

The stewards decided to penalise the Finn after he broke the rules in Australia today during the safety car period. Although drivers' are now allowed to unlap themselves under the 2012 F1 Regulations, he did so before it was permitted.

Kovalainen, who retired on lap 41 with a left front suspension issue, said he felt the penalty was a 'bit harsh'.

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"Tough day today, never mind one of those races that happen sometimes, bit harsh [the] penalty from stewards for the next race but that's life too!" he said via his Twitter feed.