Raffaele Marciello has been handed a five-place grid penalty for the final GP2 feature race of the year next month in Abu Dhabi, following a first lap incident on Sunday at Sochi.

The Racing Engineering driver lost several places off the grid and was running behind newly-crowned GP2 champion Jolyon Palmer when several drivers went wide at turn 2. That forced those behind to check up as the drivers came back onto the track, with Palmer among those having to avoid the fallout when he was hit from behind by Marciello who had been too slow in checking his speed.

Palmer nearly spun as a result of the contact but was able to get going again, and the DAMS eventually finished in tenth place. Marciello went on to climb as high as fifth place before a spin in the final corner on lap 7 dropped him out of the top ten, and subsequent contact with Russian Time's Artem Markelov left him with a puncture that put him into the wall and out of the race on lap 17.

Related Articles

The race stewards eventually had the chance to review Marciello's first lap contact with Palmer and deemed him responsible for causing the collision. As he was already out of the race this time, Marciello's penalty was converted to a five-place grid drop for the next feature race in Abu Dhabi on November 22.

"This was a quite bad race for us," the 19-year-old Italian admitted later. "I started like yesterday, so not so well, losing some positions. I recovered well during the opening laps and was back in P6. Our pace was not bad, but when I spun in the last corner, I dropped back to 11th place. And when I had contact with another car, I was out of the race."

ART's Takuya Izawa was also handed a penalty following the Sunday sprint race at the new Sochi Autodrom circuit, after being found to have exceeded the pit lane speeding limit when he made a stop during the race for fresh tyres while the safety car was out to retrieve Marciello's car following its crash.

Izawa was handed a retrospective drive-thru penalty, which since the race had already finished was duly converted to a 20 second addition to his race time. That dropped the Japanese driver from 21st to 22nd position in the final classified results.

There were no post-race penalties announced for the GP3 race that took place earlier on Sunday morning.