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Grosjean hit by grid penalty.

Two drivers in the race for this year's GP2 Series championship have had their Sunday morning in Germany made tougher after stewards at the Nurburgring handed down penalties for incidents that occurred in Saturday's feature event.

Championship leader Romain Grosjean - who saw his lead cut to a single point after failing to finish when Nico Hulkenberg claimed victory on home soil - and double race winner Pastor Maldonado both received five-place grid penalties after being adjudged to have caused avoidable accidents. The Frenchman was blamed for tipping Luca Filippi out of the race at the chicane on the first lap - the Italian collecting the hapless Luiz Razia as he spun - while an impetuous Maldonado collided with Diego Nunes as he emerged from the pits, ending both drivers' race.

The pair will now start 22nd and 26th respectively, making it harder to reach the top six and add to their points tallies. With closest rivals Hulkenberg and Vitaly Petrov, in Grosjean's case, rolling off from eighth and fifth, a change at the top of the table is likely, while Maldonado could see his tie for fourth overall with Lucas di Grassi ended if the Brazilian scores from the front row.

Silverstone surprise Alberto Valerio was also handed a grid penalty as the result of an infractions during race one, the Piquet GP driver dropping three spots - to 21st - after being adjudged to have received an unsafe release from the pits by his team. The Brazilian emerged directly into the path of ORT's Karun Chandhok. Like both Grosjean and Maldonado, Valerio failed to see the chequered flag on Saturday.



Related Pictures

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Romain Grosjean - Barwa Campos   [pic credit: GP2 Series]
Five of the top drivers in the GP2 Championship in June 2011: Romain Grosjean (FRA, Dams), Sam Bird (GBR, iSport International), Charles Pic (FRA, Barwa Addax Team), Davide Valsecchi (ITA, Team AirAsia) and Giedo Van der Garde (NED, Barwa Addax Team) photographed in Valencia [Photo: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.]
2011 GP2 Series Champion Romain Grosjean (FRA, Dams) collects the Champion`s Trophy, with Alejandro Agag, team principal of Barwa Addax, which won the teams championship. [Photo credit: Drew Gibson/GP3 Media Service.]
Turn 2 of the Monza sprint race with Charles Pic already having gone into the rear of Romain Grosjean and now colliding with Luca Filippi. [Photo Credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.]
Luca Filippi (ITA, Scuderia Coloni) celebrates his victory on the Monza feature podium with Charles Pic (FRA, Barwa Addax Team) and Romain Grosjean (FRA, Dams). [Photo Credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.]
Christian Vietoris (GER, Racing Engineering) and Romain Grosjean (FRA, Dams) celebrate their successes on the podium. [Photo credit: Charles Coates/GP2 Media Service.]
Romain Grosjean (FRA, Dams) celebrates winning the 2011 GP2 Series title. Photo: Charles Coates/GP2 Media Service.
Romain Grosjean (FRA, Dams) on track at a wet Spa-Francorchamps. [Photo credit: Drew Gibson/GP2 Media Service.]
Romain Grosjean (FRA, Dams). [Photo: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.]
Esteban Gutierrez (MEX, Lotus ART) leads Romain Grosjean (FRA, Dams) over the finish line for second place at the sprint race at the Hungaroring, Hungary in July 2011. [Photo: Andrew Ferraro/GP2 Media Service.]
Stefano Coletti (MON, Trident Racing) celebrates his victory on the podium with Esteban Gutierrez (MEX, Lotus ART) and Romain Grosjean (FRA, Dams) after the sprint race at the Hungaroring, Hungary in July 2011. [Photo credit: Andrew Ferraro/GP2 Media Service.]
Romain Grosjean (FRA, Dams) on track at the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. July 2011. [Photo credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.]
Romain Grosjean (FRA, Dams) celebrates his fifth feature race win of the season on the podium with Charles Pic (FRA, Barwa Addax Team) at the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. July 2011. [Photo credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.]
Romain Grosjean (FRA, Dams) celebrates his fifth feature race win of the season on the podium with Charles Pic (FRA, Barwa Addax Team) and Luiz Razia (BRA, Team AirAsia at the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. July 2011. [Photo credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.]
Romain Grosjean (FRA, Dams) celebrates his fifth feature race win of the 2011 season at the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. July 2011. [Photo credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.]
Sprint race winner Romain Grosjean (FRA, Dams) out on track at the Nurburgring during a gloomy July, 2011. [Photo credit: Andrew Ferraro/GP2 Media Service.]
Romain Grosjean (FRA, Dams) celebrates his victory on the podium. Nurburgring sprint race - July 2011. [Photo credit: Andrew Ferraro/GP2 Media Service.]
Romain Grosjean (FRA, Dams) celebrates his victory on the podium with Jules Bianchi (FRA,Lotus ART) and Luca Filippi (ITA, Scuderia Coloni). Nurburgring sprint race - July 2011. [Photo credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.]

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