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Hungary: Penalty for Bird unpicks Russian Time lock-out

Sam Bird has lost his front row starting position after being handed a three-place grid drop for Saturday's feature event by the race stewards.
Russian Time's celebrations at securing a front row lock-out at the Hungaroring for Saturday's feature race proved short-lived, after Sam Bird was handed a grid penalty for impeding a rival.

Bird was judged to have impeded the EQ8 Caterham car of Sergio Canamases through turn 1 during the qualifying session, and was handed a three-place drop as a result of the incident.

That means Bird will move from second on the grid where he expected to start alongside his team mate Tom Dillmann, and start instead from fifth place on the third row.

Racing Engineering's Fabio Leimer will move up to the front row as a result, with the second row now due to consist of Carlin's Felipe Nasr and DAMS' Marcus Ericsson. Bird will start behind them, alongside Ericsson's team mate Stephane Richelmi.

Also penalised by the race stewards in Hungary was GP2 Series rookie driver Vittorio Ghirelli, who was found to have impeded polesitter Tom Dillmann at the exit of turn 13 during the same 30 minute session.

As a result of the sanction, the Italian will start his maiden race in the feeder series from last place of the grid. Ghirelli took over from Fabrizio Crestani in the #25 Venezuela GP Lazarus car and was in any case due to start on the back row.

He had managed to out qualify just the Trident Racing car of Ricardo Teixeira, who is himself returning to the series for the first time in a year after being tapped at short notice to substitute for the team's regular driver Kevin Ceccon.

Championship leader Stefano Coletti had also thought to have been under investigation by the stewards for failing to respect track limits, but the Rapax driver was not mentioned in the penalty announcement and therefore appears to have been cleared of any wrong-doing.



Related Pictures

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Sam Bird (GBR, Russian Time) during practice at Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia - March 22 2013. (World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Sam Bird (GBR, Russian Time) in Hungary. Friday July 26 2013. (World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service)
Sam Bird (GBR, Russian Time) in Hungary. Friday July 26 2013. (World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service)
2015 GP2 Series Round 6. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Saturday 25 July 2015. Daniel de Jong (NED, MP Motorsport) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 5. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Cars line up on the grid for the race. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Alexander Rossi (USA, Racing Engineering), Jordan King (GBR, Racing Engineering) & Mitch Evans (NZL, RUSSIAN TIME) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 5. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) celebrates his win on the podium. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 5. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident), celebrates on the podium with Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix) and 4. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Alexander Rossi (USA, Racing Engineering) leads Jordan King (GBR, Racing Engineering) and the rest of the field at the start. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Alexander Rossi (USA, Racing Engineering) celebrates on the podium with Jordan King (GBR, Racing Engineering). Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 5. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Matthew Parry (GBR, Koiranen GP) crashes into a wall. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 5. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) crosses the line to take the win. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Saturday 22 August 2015. The Safety car is deployed Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Saturday 22 August 2015. Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix) celebrates his win in Parc Ferme. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 5. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Saturday 22 August 2015. Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix), leads Kevin Ceccon (ITA, Arden International), Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident), Emil Bernstorff (GBR, Arden International) and the rest of the field at the start. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Saturday 22 August 2015. Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) celebrates his win on the podium. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Saturday 22 August 2015. Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) celebrates his win on the podium. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service

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