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Mazepin handed meaningless grid penalty after impeding Norris

Mazepin handed meaningless grid penalty after impeding Norris

F1 News

Mazepin handed meaningless grid penalty after impeding Norris

Mazepin handed meaningless grid penalty after impeding Norris

Haas driver Nikita Mazepin has been handed a three-place grid penalty for impeding McLaren's Lando Norris during Spanish Grand Prix qualifying.

The incident took place during Q1 as Norris aimed to complete his first flying lap of the afternoon, encountering a traffic jam consisting of Kimi Raikkonen's Alfa Romeo, the AlphaTauri of Yuki Tsunoda and the two Haas' of Mazepin and Mick Schumacher.

Mazepin will suffer no consequence other than the penalty point added to his super licence after the Russian qualified last for the fourth consecutive race.

The incident report read: "During the qualifying 1 session, Mazepin was setting up for a fast lap. As he approached turns 10 and 11 Mazepin was informed that Norris was closing on a fast lap behind him and was informed of the closing gap all the way through to the incident."

Noting mitigating factors, the report continued: "Mazepin then slowed to maintain the gap to Schumacher ahead of him with both setting up for their fast laps.

"Between turns 13 and 14, Raikkonen and Tsunoda, who were coming into the pits, jumped ahead of Mazepin.

"Both cars had also been informed of the fast-closing Norris, and it is clear that they did this to get out of Norris’ way. However, this created a difficult situation for Mazepin.

"The stewards determined that having been clearly informed of Norris’ whereabouts, Mazepin’s decision to pull out and re-pass Raikkonen and Tsunoda clearly impeded Norris, who lost significant time.

"The stewards recognise that this sequence of corners creates a special challenge to the drivers in qualifying and that Mazepin was faced with a difficult situation.

"This was also pointed out by Norris in the hearing. However, had Mazepin waited for Norris to pass, he could have pulled out and followed Norris and the stewards determined this opportunity was available to him without significantly compromising his next lap.

"The stewards, therefore, order the usual penalty for 'unnecessary impeding' of a three grid place drop and a single penalty point."

Mazepin has now collected two penalty points since joining F1. A driver is allowed a total of 12 in a 12-month period before a race ban is considered.

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