The iSport International GP2 team has expressed puzzlement over the stewards' decision to penalise their driver Marcus Ericcson for a spectacular accident involving Davide Valsecchi during Sunday's sprint race at Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia.
Valsecchi had run wide in turn 4 while trying to overtake Luiz Razia on lap 13, and Marcus Ericsson rapidly closed up on Valsecchi as he returned to the track. The right front wheel of the iSport made contact with the left rear of the DAMS, and Valsechhi's car was flipped up into the air and into a summersault through the gravel trap. Both cars were out on the spot.
"Fortunately nobody was hurt, which is the important thing," said iSport team principal Paul Jackson after the weekend. "Disappointingly, the stewards attached blame to Marcus and handed him a ten-place grid penalty for the next race."
The penalty was handed down after stewards found that Ericsson breached the GP2 sporting regulations after causing a collision. He will serve the penalty at the feature race in Bahrain, which will be held at the Sakhir International Circuit on April 21.
Jackson couldn't help but express his confusion and unhappiness with the penalty that Swede will now have to overcome for the second round of the 2012 GP2 season.
"We will now analyse this incident to try and understand such a strange judgement," he said. "Interestingly, there was no bad feeling with Davide and he was puzzled by the steward's decision."
In a press release, iSport merely added that "The team remain positive, lessons have been learnt - and, luckily, in the early stages of the season."
Ericsson himself refrained from commenting about the incident or the penalty on social media, merely pointing to news coverage of Jackson's comments and then tweeting: "Okay, this weekend is now history. Now I will look forward to the next race, and make sure I'm as prepared as ever so I can fight in the top!"
"My accident the second race is a real pity," was Valsecchi's only comment on his sprint race crash. It emerged after the weekend that Valsecchi had nearly been snapped up by current GP2 team champions Barwa Addax, with team owner owner Alejandro Agag commenting that "We were about to sign him ourselves but he was taken away from under our noses."