10 June 2013
van der Garde handed second penalty
Two incidents in which he made contact with other cars saw Caterham's Giedo van der Garde handed a grid penalty for the British Grand Prix - for ignoring blue flags.
Giedo van der Garde received two of the five punishments handed down by the stewards during the Canadian Grand Prix, and will now start the British round five places further back than he qualifies.
The Dutchman, who eventually retired with the front wing of his Caterham folded back under the chassis, had already been found guilty of impeding the charging Mark Webber and handed a rare ten-second stop-go penalty when he ran into the back of Sauber's Nico Hulkenberg under braking for the final chicane.
While the incident is likely to have precipitated his own demise, van der Garde also played a big part in the German's retirement, as the contact caused both suspension and tyre damage on the Sauber, which had just lapped the Caterham on the run to the final corner complex.
The race stewards - having received a report from the race director, heard from both drivers and team representatives and examined video/audio evidence – appear to have ignored the collision, but determined that van der Garde had ignored blue flags as Hulkenberg bore down on him, forcing the Sauber driver to have to use both KERS and DRS to complete his move. Having also stated that the Dutchman had ignored the warning flags prior to his collision with Webber, the outcome was a five-place grid penalty for the British Grand Prix.
“Today wasn't a good day for me,” van der Garde accepted, “I want to say sorry to Mark for the incident we had and I'll make sure I learn from the stewards' decision on the five-place penalty for the next race. Sometimes you make mistakes, but the important thing is to accept them, learn from them and move on.
“In the race itself, I had a great start, passed four cars and was up to 17th by lap two. We'd started on the supersofts and the first set were done pretty quickly so we boxed on lap eight for a set of mediums and my pace on those for the first few laps was okay. I'm not sure why but, not long into the stint, the tyre temperatures started coming down and my lap-times dropped straight away. It was pretty frustrating as there was nothing I could do to get them to work so I just had to keep pushing on.
“On lap 33, I came back in for another set of mediums but then I had to box for the stop-go I had from the contact with Mark. The temperatures went straight up after the penalty and I had to come back in almost immediately so we could check the car and they found a visor tear-off in one of the radiators which had been causing problems for most of the race.”
Despite his acceptance of the penalty, however, van der Garde's post-race comments do not suggest that he blames himself entirely for the Hulkenberg incident….
“Shortly after [the final stop], I was heading towards the hairpin with Hulkenberg alongside,” he confirmed, “I moved over for him, but he turned in in front of me in the braking zone and we made contact and that was the end of my race.”
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