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Hungary: Penalty for Bird unpicks Russian Time lock-out

26 July 2013

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.


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