“Such lack of communication is not an excuse for the driver” – AlphaTauri rookie Yuki Tsunoda will start in P11 tomorrow after being penalised for blocking Valtteri Bottas during qualifying.
Yuki Tsunoda was impressive in qualifying today, eventually managing to make it to the final session. He finished a credible eighth fastest, capping off a good day for AlphaTauri, with Pierre Gasly also in the Top 10.
But, earlier in the session, the Japanese blocked the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas as he was doing a fast lap. Bottas was incensed by it and complained on team radio, following which FIA declared an investigation after qualifying.
Tsunoda gets a three-place grid drop for impeding Bottas in qualifying.
— WTF1 (@wtf1official) June 26, 2021
After hearing the side of both parties, the race stewards slapped a three-place grid drop on Tsunoda. This essentially means he will start just behind the Top 10 tomorrow, promoting ‘Mr. Saturday’ George Russell into P10. Bottas also has a three-place penalty and will start the race in P5 tomorrow.
“Car 22 [Tsunoda] had just completed a fast lap and had communication from the team that he was now on an in lap. 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 four. 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.”