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Sutil penalised for impeding Hamilton

7 September 2013

Force India driver Adrian Sutil has been handed a three-place grid following qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix.

Sutil had qualified 14th for the twelfth round in the 2013 F1 World Championship, but will now drop to 17th, after the stewards judged he was guilty of impeding Lewis Hamilton near the end of Q2.

As a result, Williams driver Pastor Maldonado, team-mate Paul di Resta and Sauber's Esteban Gutierrez all move up a place.

Speaking after qualifying and before news of his penalty, Sutil made no reference to what had happened with Hamilton.

“A tough qualifying today,” said the German, who fell out with Hamilton, when the Englishman failed to testify at his GBH trial in 2012, and who admitted last month that they have still to make-up. “We made some changes overnight, but they didn't really show much improvement during final practice, which was strange. So there was not much we could do ahead of qualifying apart from change a few more things to try and help the balance.

“The car felt a bit better for qualifying, but we are still too far away from where we should be. My lap in Q2 was not too bad and P14 was the maximum today. Scoring points tomorrow is our aim and although it's a difficult task, we will do our best.”

Di Resta meanwhile was similarly off the pace and not particularly happy with his Force India, not helped of course by that crash in FP3.

“It's been a mixed day with the brake disc failure this morning, which cost us some track time and meant we headed into qualifying with a car set-up that was far from optimised. The guys did a fantastic job to get the car ready in time, but ultimately we didn't have the performance to do any better than P16,” di Resta lamented.

“It's fair to say that we have struggled more with our one-lap pace here, so hopefully we can be more competitive in race conditions.

“There's also talk of changeable weather so maybe we can do something with the strategy to move forward in the race.”


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