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Stewards issue penalty decisions for Korea

6 October 2013

The race stewards office at Korea International Circuit in Yeongam was a busy place after Sunday's race, as the officials deliberated on a number of incidents that arose during the afternoon's competition.

Marussia's Jules Bianchi and Caterham's Charles Pic both pick up reprimands that push them over the 'three-strikes' limit and automatically invoke a ten-place grid penalty for Japan.

In Bianchi's case, his latest reprimand was for failing to slow under the yellows during the second safety car. "The telemetry did not indicate the driver slowed for the yellow flag," the stewards stated.

Pic was similarly deemed to have been speeding under the yellow flags during the earlier previous safety car period: "The driver was actually 2kph faster going into the yellow flag area on Lap 53," the stewards reported.

As a result both drivers will start from the back row of the grid in Suzuka - but given that they usually start no more than a row further forward, it's not exactly as dramatic an outcome for their collected reprimands as had been Mark Webber's drop from third to 13th on this weekend's grid.

However there was good news for Sergio Perez who was investigated for exceeding track limits and making contact with the Ferrari in his overtaking move on Felipe Massa at turn 4. "As no driver was determined to be wholly or predominantly to blame, the Stewards decide that no further action should be taken," was the official verdict.

"We were racing very hard trying to get some points - on one occasion, I thought he was going to leave me more space, then he turned in, I tried to brake and we touched a little bit," explained Perez later. "On the second incident, I thought I had the corner. I'm pleased that the stewards felt there was no need for any further action – it was just racing."

Force India's Adrian Sutil - who had already been given a drive-thru penalty for speeding in the pit lane - escaped further sanctions for the mid-race accident that saw him spin heading into the chicane at a restart and make contact with Webber's Red Bull, which subsequently went up in flames.

In this instance the stewards deemed no further action would be taken against Sutil. The notice from the stewards said that they had "noted that the driver of car 15 did not brake later than the drivers around him. His brakes locked causing him to lose control."

It was a mixed outcome for Pic's Caterham team mate Giedo van der Garde who escaped sanction over reports that the Caterham driver had gone too fast behind the safety car. The announcement stated: "The Stewards are satisfied, from a study of the telemetry, that the driver did slow on entering the yellow flag area.

However, van der Garde had already been handed a drive-thru during the race for forcing Marussia's Jules Bianchi outside the track limits in turn 1 on the opening lap, and he picked an additional reprimand for speeding behind the safety car. In van der Garde's case, this not not put him over the "three-strikes" threshold.

Bianchi's team mate Max Chilton was similarly reprimanded for not staying above the minimum time set by the FIA ECU. "The Stewards determined from the telemetry that the driver was clearly faster than permitted under the safety car," the announcement concluded. However, like van der Garde, Chilton is still below the three-strikes limit that would trigger a grid penalty.


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