Sam Bird has received a five place grid penalty to be applied to the grid for Saturday's GP2 sprint race in Monaco.
Stewards decided that Bird was to blame for bumping his iSport team mate Marcus Ericsson into the wall during an overtaking move in the Friday feature race. Ericsson ended up rebounding into Bird and the end result was that both cars were too damaged to continue, while Ericsson's rear wing ended up stuck on track at the exit of the tunnel and brought out a safety car.
This penalty followed on from one handed to Ericsson the previous day for running into the back of Bird, making this a very torrid race weekend for the iSport team mates - counselling and anger management may be required upon the team's return to base in the UK.
“They simply raced each other too hard," team principal Paul Jackson, fresh from a 'hairdryer moment' in the iSport garage, commented, "The guys were frustrated by the positions they found themselves in, and with the traffic they had to contend with. Their commitment to taking points for the team was over exuberant on this occasion. We will deal with it, and we'll come bac."
The penalty will put Bird back to 23rd position on the 26-car grid, while fellow countryman Oliver Turvey had earlier received a 30secs penalty from the stewards that meant he lost seventh place, and as a consequence a position on the front row of the grid for Saturday's sprint race under the reverse grid system.
Turvey had been handed a drive-thru penalty for a jump start, but failed to serve it during the race and was duly handed the time penalty after the event.Turvey was back racing with Carlin
after undisclosed issues (thought to be related to his sponsorship backing) forced regular driver Mikhail Aleshin to sit out Monaco.
The latest penalties come after three other drivers (Giedo van der Garde, Marcus Ericsson and Romain Grosjean) were given penalties for causing collisions
during the Thursday afternoon qualifying session
. The stewards later issued a scathing statement
criticising the overall level of driving they had seen from the GP2 paddock during the timed session.