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Stroll punished for "awkward" Latifi collision

Stroll punished for "awkward" Latifi collision

Stroll punished for "awkward" Latifi collision

Stroll punished for "awkward" Latifi collision

Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll has been given a three-place grid penalty for causing the collision with Williams' Nicholas Latifi during qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix.

Latifi let his fellow Canadian through on the entry to turn five but when Stroll slowed after the corner, the Williams attempted to retake track position to the right-hand side of the track.

Stroll swerved to the right with his right-front colliding with the left-rear tyre of Latifi's car, creating a lengthy stoppage at the end of Q1.

Latifi had levelled the blame squarely on Stroll's shoulders, who himself described the incident as "awkward".

“We were on a cool lap and I saw the video and he went to try to pass me all of a sudden in a very awkward part of the circuit," he explained.

"The circuit falls off to the right and then the left where that is.

“I think what happened was just very awkward. He was all of a sudden just trying to come by me and it gets narrow and we made contact. [It was] quite a ridiculous incident.

“I was watching for the cars behind me but the circuit falls off to the right there and as he was trying to accelerate to get by me it gets quite narrow. Just, very awkward situation at an awkward part of the track I guess.”

But in penalising Stroll, a report from the stewards read: "LAT pulled off course to the left and slowed at the exit of turn four to let cars by, the last of which was STR.

"At the exit of turn five, STR appeared to not accelerate and was in the middle of the track. LAT made the decision to accelerate and pass STR on the right as STR was moving right toward the right-hand edge of the track where the track curves slightly to the right on the run to turn six.

"Contact was made between STR’s right front wheel and LAT’s left rear wheel, with the subsequent damage putting both cars out of the session.

"The Stewards find that STR was predominantly to blame for the collision because of his lack of situational awareness of LAT’s passing manoeuvre."

The decision makes no change to Stroll's starting position given he had yet to have completed a lap due to repairs being made following a crash in FP3, although he has been given two penalty points.

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