UPDATE: Valtteri Bottas and Esteban Ocon have both escaped penalties after being investigated for their driving at the end of qualifying at the United States Grand Prix.
While the stewards found that both drivers had exceeded the maximum lap time set out by the race director Charlie Whiting, they did not deem either to be driving unnecessarily slowly and decided to take no further action.
“Car 77 (and Car 31) exceeded the specified maximum time between Safety Car Lines on its post-qualifying in lap,” the stewards decision read. “The stewards closely examined the driver’s in lap and found that Car 77 (and Car 31) did not drive unnecessarily slowly or in a manner to adversely affect any other driver.”
Valtteri Bottas and Esteban Ocon are both under investigation for their driving at the end of the qualifying session at the United States Grand Prix.
The race director’s notes from each race weekend state drivers must stay below a maximum lap time on their in-laps after qualifying and on the way to the grid on Sunday. Both Bottas and Ocon have been summoned to the stewards for “driving unnecessarily slowly on an in-lap” at the end of qualifying.
Bottas originally finished qualifying in fourth place but was set to be promoted to third following Sebastian Vettel’s grid penalty for failing to slow sufficiently for red flags on Friday.
Ocon delivered an impressive qualifying performance to secure sixth on the grid, but both could now be penalized by the stewards.
There is no precedent for penalties for driving unnecessarily slowly on an in lap in the past two seasons in Formula 1, with the stewards able to impose a driving reprimand or grid penalty if required.