Esteban Gutierrez, Jenson Button and Charles Pic have all received grid demotions ahead of the United States Grand Prix.
Sauber driver Gutierrez had impressed in Austin qualifying as he took 10th place, but he was judged to have impeded Pastor Maldonado, earning him a 10-place penalty.
Button knew from Friday that he faced a three-place drop, having overtaken when the red flags were out during the complicated opening practice session. The McLaren man struggled for pace in qualifying anyway, and was only 13th quickest.
Pic’s five-place penalty was awarded after Caterham had to break the gearbox seals on his car to fix an issue. He had been 21st in qualifying.
Max Chilton, who qualified last for Marussia, was also found guilty of blocking in qualifying, with Maldonado and Adrian Sutil on the receiving end. As he could not receive a grid demotion, he will have to take a drive-through penalty within the first five laps of Sunday’s race.
At the front, Sebastian Vettel beat Red Bull teammate Mark Webber to pole position after a close battle, with Romain Grosjean and Nico Hulkenberg earning the row two spots.
1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 2. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 3. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 4. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 5. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 6. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 7. Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 8. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 9. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault10. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari11. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes12. Nico Rosberg Mercedes13. Felipe Massa Ferrari14. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari15. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes16. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes17. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault18. Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault19. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth20. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari21. Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth22. Charles Pic Caterham-Renault