Oscar Piastri loses front row start after penalty for impeding Kevin Magnussen

Oscar Piastri has been hit with a three-place grid penalty for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Oscar Piastri (AUS) McLaren, in the post qualifying FIA Press Conference. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 7, Emilia
Oscar Piastri (AUS) McLaren, in the post qualifying FIA Press Conference…

Oscar Piastri has received a three-place grid penalty from the F1 stewards after he impeded Kevin Magnussen in qualifying at Imola.

It means Piastri will start Sunday’s race from fifth on the grid having initially put his McLaren on the front row alongside Max Verstappen.

Piastri was deemed to be at fault for impeding Magnussen in Q1, ultimately costing the Haas driver a place in the next part of qualifying.

The Australian got in the way of Magnussen at Turn 2 and Turn 3, ruining the Dane’s lap completely.

The penalty promotes teammate Lando Norris to the front row of the grid, while Charles Leclerc will start third ahead of Carlos Sainz.

The stewards released the following explanation when announcing Piastri’s penalty.

(L to R): Pole sitter Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing in qualifying parc ferme with second placed Oscar Piastri (AUS)
(L to R): Pole sitter Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing in qualifying…

The statement read: “Piastri was exiting the pits and Magnussen was on his fast lap. Piastri impeded Magnussen at the chicane at Turns 2 and 3.

“The Stewards accepted the explanation of Piastri that because of the layout of the circuit at that location, he could not see Magnussen until it was too late, at which time he tried to accelerate away in order to get clear of Magnussen as quickly as possible. Magnussen acknowledged that it was difficult for drivers to see cars behind in many portions of the track, including here.

“However, the Stewards reviewed the team radio and Piastri’s team did not warn him of the much faster approaching car until Magnussen was too close for Piastri to do anything to safely avoid impeding. In fact there was an approximately 140km/h speed differential and Magnussen was only approximately 40-50m behind at the time and this meant that Piastri was in the middle of the chicane when Magnussen caught up directly behind Piastri. Further, it was clear that Magnussen was on a fast lap since his exit of Turn 19.

“The Stewards also reviewed where other drivers were warned of approaching cars and it was significantly earlier, and they were able to avoid impeding at Turn 2/3. Traffic management for slower cars is an extremely important part of the team/driver combination, particularly in Q1. In this instance the Stewards determine that the lack of sufficient warning caused an “unnecessary impeding.”

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