Lance Stroll and Kimi Raikkonen have both been handed post-race penalties that have changed the points-paying positions in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
On Lap 11, Stroll tried to overtake Pierre Gasly around the outside of Turn 2 but ran wide in wet conditions, cutting the chicane. The Aston Martin driver did not give the position back, and the stewards investigated after the race and found that Stroll left the track and gained an advantage that warranted a 5-second time penalty.
“In hearing from the drivers the stewards accepted that car 18 (Stroll) was ahead of car 10 (Gasly) at the point he left the track, but that he was in that position because of a maneuver that he was not able to complete on the track given the wet conditions,” the decision read.
The penalty has a direct impact on both drivers as they swap positions in the final classification, with Gasly promoted to seventh place and Stroll dropping one spot to eighth.
Raikkonen had originally crossed the line ninth for Alfa Romeo, but was under investigation for a safety car infringement. The Finn spun on the final lap before a race restart after the red flag period, and duly lost positions. As it was a race restart he was permitted to regain those places, but with the safety car lights having gone out, a contradictory regulation states no car can overtake.
With conflicting regulations at play, Alfa Romeo opted to tell Raikkonen to not pass any cars “fearing that this would create a safety issue in the wet conditions,” but at that point it contravened a separate regulation that means drivers who are out of position at the first safety car line before a restart must enter the pit lane.
The stewards admitted there are a number of confusing rules in this instance but said that as Raikkonen didn’t enter the pit lane, they are forced to apply a mandatory 10-second stop-and-go penalty, that is converted into a 30s time penalty post-race.
“The stewards consider it to be a further contradiction that when the cars are behind the safety car during a safety car period, the are prohibited from passing, but when they are behind the safety car for a restart, they are permitted to — even though the reasons for a rolling start are that the track conditions don’t permit a standing start.
“However, the rule requiring a car to enter the pit lane if it fails to regain its position is consistent amongst several championships, has been in the FIA Formula 1 Sporting Regulations for several years and has been consistently applied.
“The penalty is a mandatory penalty, and therefore the stewards consider that they have no alternative than to apply this penalty for reasons of consistency.”
The penalty drops Raikkonen out of the points, promoting the Alpine pair of Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso to P9 and P10 respectively.