Adrian Sutil has been handed a three-place grid penalty for blocking Lewis Hamilton in Italian Grand Prix qualifying.
Hamilton’s Mercedes came up behind Sutil’s slower Force India at the Parabolica on his final Q2 lap and had to back right off. The race officials accepted that Sutil had not acted deliberately the Briton but said a penalty was due.
“The stewards determined the impeding was not intentional, however it is the responsibility of the driver to be aware of the approaching car,” said an official statement.
Sutil therefore falls from 14th to 17th on the grid, promoting Pastor Maldonado, Paul di Resta and Esteban Gutierrez.
Hamilton ended up 12th, but said he was on course for a disappointing result even before Sutil delayed him.
“It doesn’t matter anyway,” he said. “I should have done it on the lap before anyway.”