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Japanese Grand Prix: Pic to start with drive-thru

Already labouring under a ten-place grid penalty for amassing three reprimands ahead of Japanese GP, Charles Pic will now start this weekend's race with a drive-thru penalty.
Caterham's Charles Pic has attracted the ire of the race stewards yet again in Suzuka, and on top of his ten place grid penalty will now also start the Japanese Grand Prix with a drive-thru penalty that he has to serve in the opening laps of Sunday's race.

The latest penalty comes after Pic was reported by local track officials as having left pit lane when the red light was displayed at the pit exit as a result of Jean-Eric Vergne's fire in Q1.

According to the official penalty notice, Pic crossed the exit line five seconds after the track had gone red while marshalls extinguished the fire at the back of the Toro Rosso.

The stewards duly found Pic to be in breach of Article 31.3 of the FIA F1 Sporting Regulations and imposed a drive-thru penalty in accordance with Article 16.3(a) to be served during the first five laps of the race.

The stewards added that they noted noted this is the second consecutive event in which the driver has driven through a red light.

Pic had noticed the lights go red as he made his way to exit, but had taken the decision to return to his pit box via a slow-speed lap of the circuit. "Just as we exited the pit the red flags came out so we came straight back," he commented.

Pic had been happy with his qualifying session, where changes over lunch had significantly improved the balance of the Caterham, but ultimately the timing of the red flag - which left only three minutes of track time once the qualifying session resumed - hampered his efforts.

"Unfortunately, with the time left in the session when it restarted, we didn't have enough of a gap on track," he said. "Even though I was four tenths up on the last quick lap, I came up behind another car and couldn't improve my time which is obviously a shame."

As a result of his grid penalty - received for having amassed three official reprimands so far in 2013 - Pic will start from 21st place on the back row alongside Force India's Adrian Sutil, who has been demoted for a gearbox change carried out on Saturday morning.




Related Pictures

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10.10.2013- Giedo Van der Garde (NED), Caterham F1 Team CT03
12.10.2013- Qualifying, Giedo Van der Garde (NED), Caterham F1 Team CT03 leads Charles Pic (FRA) Caterham F1 Team CT03
11.10.2013- Free Practice 2, Giedo Van der Garde (NED), Caterham F1 Team CT03
11.10.2013- Free Practice 1, Giedo Van der Garde (NED), Caterham F1 Team CT03
12.10.2013- Free Practice 3, Charles Pic (FRA) Caterham F1 Team CT03
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