Lance Stroll demoted to eighth at Imola, Kimi Raikkonen penalty gives Fernando Alonso F1 point

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Lance Stroll deemed to have overtaken Pierre Gasly with a “manoeuvre he was not able to complete on the track” after shortcutting chicane to pass AlphaTauri driver; Kimi Raikkonen penalised after race restart infringement

Last Updated: 18/04/21 10:34pm


Lance Stroll has been demoted from seventh place to eighth in the Emilia-Romagna GP final results after receiving a post-race penalty for an off-track overtake, while Kimi Raikkonen has dropped out of the points entirely for an infringement before the race restart.

Stroll’s five-second penalty means Pierre Gasly, the man he illegally passed on lap 11, usurps him into seventh, while the 30-second penalty race stewards gave to Raikkonen drops him all the way from ninth to 13th.

It also means Fernando Alonso has his first points back in F1, with the Alpine driver and two-time world champion rising a position to 10th.

Why was Stroll penalised?

An investigation was launched into Stroll concerning his pass on Gasly on lap 11 – with the Aston Martin driver getting ahead into Imola’s opening Tamburello chicane, but then completely bypassing Turn 3 afterwards.

Stroll then failed to give the position back to Gasly, who was struggling on wet tyres in the damp conditions early in the race.

Race stewards ruled that while Stroll “was ahead of Gasly at the point he left the track”, he “was not able to complete his pass without leaving the track, completely shortcutting Turn 3”.

He was handed a five-second penalty, and one penalty point on his superlicense.

As Gasly was eighth and within a second of Stroll at the end of the race, the two drivers swap positions in the final standings.

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Sky F1’s Ted Kravitz reflects on an incredible race which saw Red Bull’s Max Verstappen claim his first win of the season ahead of Lewis Hamilton.

Sky F1’s Ted Kravitz reflects on an incredible race which saw Red Bull’s Max Verstappen claim his first win of the season ahead of Lewis Hamilton.

“The Stewards were informed after the race of an alleged breach,” read the FIA verdict. “Having reviewed the video and heard from the drivers, The Stewards concluded that Car 18 was not able to complete his pass on Car 10 at Turn 2/3 without leaving the track completely, shortcutting Turn 3 and returning on the track ahead of car 10.

“He then failed to give the position back.

“In hearing from the drivers, the Stewards accepted that Car 18 was ahead of Car 10 at the point he left the track, but that he was in that position because of a manoeuvre that he was not able to complete on the track given the wet conditions.”

Gasly therefore picks up six points from Imola – the AlphaTauri driver’s first of the season – while Stroll, who has finished in the top-10 in both 2021 races, takes four.

Why was Raikkonen penalised?

Raikkonen was handed a 30s time penalty after stewards ruled they had “no alternative” but to apply it for “reasons of consistency” despite admitting “contradictions” in their rules.

His penalty was slightly more complex, concerning his positioning – and not entering the pits – after spinning before the Imola race restart following the red-flag suspension.

Raikkonen spun his Alfa Romeo at Turn 3 on the first lap behind the Safety Car, losing his position of eighth – although F1 rules dictate that the driver may ‘retake his position, so long as he does so prior to the first Safety Car line’. If not, ‘he must enter the pit-lane’ and ‘can only re-join the race once the whole field has passed the pit exit’.

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The best of the action from a thrilling race in Imola as Max Verstappen claims his first win of the season ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris.

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He was told by his team to regain the positions from other cars as allowed, although as Kimi made his way back through, he was then told to stop passing because the Safety Car lights were out before he was back in position, and another regulation states that drivers are not allowed to overtake once the SC lights are out.

Alfa Romeo “asked for clarification from the Race Director”, according to Race Stewards, “but there was no time for a response.”

He then did not enter the pit-lane.

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The stewards, issuing a 30s penalty rather than the 10s stop-and-go penalty which would have come Raikkonen’s way if the ruling had been made during the race, admitted there were “contradictions” with the circumstances detailed above but that 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 One Sporting Regulations for several years and has been consistently applied”.

Raikkonen, who enjoyed a strong race after failing to get out of Q1 in Saturday’s qualifying, therefore loses his two points, while Esteban Ocon gains ninth and Alpine team-mate Alonso takes 10th and a single point.

It was Alonso’s first point since the 2018 Singapore GP, with the Spaniard having left F1 for two years.

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