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Silverstone: Leimer and Rossi handed penalties
30 June 2013
Racing Engineering's Fabio Leimer and EQ8 Caterham Racing's Alexander Rossi have both received ten-place starting grid penalties for Sunday's sprint race after being found guilty of causing separate avoidable collisions on Saturday.
Rossi was found to have run into the Trident of Kevin Ceccon between turns 16 and 17 on lap 2 of the Silverstone circuit in the feature race. Ceccon was spun out and was unable to resume after the incident, which meant that he was the first of only two official retirements from the race.
Leimer meanwhile had been running in fifth place toward the end of the 29-lap race with a ring-side seat on the thrilling long-running battle for the final podium position between Stefano Coletti in the Rapax car and Tom Dillmann in the Russian Time. Coletti made a slight error at the end of the penultimate lap which finally allowed Dillmann to get past, and Leimer saw his opportunity to steal a position for himself while Coletti's momentum was broken.
He tried taking the inside line past Coletti into Brooklands, but found that he could not keep it tight enough to to the apex to avoid running out wide and hitting the side of the Rapax car, tipping it into a spin. Leimer was able to get past his now-broadside rival, but Coletti was dumped out of the race - meaning that he's gone from fighting over third place to being classified in 21st in the space of just a few seconds.
Leimer himself went on to picked up fourth place, a much-needed strong points finish if he's to have any hope of keeping up with Coletti and others in the championship standings. The stewards allowed him to keep that finish and the vital points, but handed him the ten-place grid penalty for Sunday's sprint.
The stewards commented that Leimer's pass had been "an over-ambitious manoeuvre," adding that Leimer had collided with Coletti even though the Rapax driver had left enough room.
As a result of the two penalties, Leimer will now start from 15th place on the Sunday sprint grid, while Rossi will start from 20th.
Hilmer Motorsport's Jon Lancaster was also investigated for an incident which saw him make contact with the ART car of James Calado, but the race stewards decided that no action was required in that case. Lancaster went on to finish in fifth place in his home event at Silverstone, while Calado battled his way back to ninth after spinning.
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