Yuki Tsunoda has been handed a three-place grid penalty for impeding Valtteri Bottas in Q3 at the Styrian Grand Prix, dropping him out of the top 10.
The AlphaTauri rookie had completed his first timed lap in the final part of qualifying and was returning to the pits when Bottas caught him on the run to Turn 4. Tsunoda was on the racing line, and while he tried to move to the outside of the corner to allow Bottas to pass, the Finn complained he was held up and the stewards agreed, dropping Tsunoda from eighth to 11th on the grid and promoting Fernando Alonso, Lance Stroll and George Russell.
“Car 22 (Tsunoda) had just completed a fast lap and had communication from the team that he was now on an in-lap,” the stewards’ decision read. “The team did not warn Car 22 of the approach of Car 77 (Bottas) on a fast lap. Car 77 approached Car 22 at the entry to Turn 4. Car 22 was on the racing line and while he attempted to move off the racing line to the outside he did impede Car 77 unnecessarily.
“It is the responsibility of every driver to be aware of faster cars when they are on a slow lap. The team should have assisted the driver in being aware of the approaching faster car but such lack of communication is not an excuse for the driver.”
Tsunoda will start from 11th and still have to do so on soft tires, having originally advanced from Q2 on that compound, while Russell in 10th retains the free tire choice having been eliminated in Q2.
The Japanese driver was also handed one penalty point for the incident, giving him two points for the 12-month period.
— Formula 1 (@F1) June 26, 2021