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Bahrain GP2: Grid penalty for Williams F1 tester Felipe Nasr

Felipe Nasr

Just hours after making his Formula 1 weekend debut driving for Williams in free practice, GP2 pre-season favourite Felipe Nasr was penalised by stewards after qualifying in Bahrain.

The Brazilian Carlin driver was handed a three-place penalty for "making an abnormal change of direction alongside another driver whilst negotiating Turn 4".

His onboard camera showed him gesticulating at Johnny Cecotto Jr, who Nasr felt had impeded the start of his final lap, although Cecotto received no penalty.

Nasr will start from 11th rather than P8, and his penalty promotes Ferrari junior Raffaele Marciello, Arthur Pic and Jon Lancaster ahead of him.

Besides Nasr's penalty, the main talking point going into today's opening race of the season is tyre degradation.

The race will start during the hottest point of the day at the desert kingdom venue, and the durability of the soft-compound tyre, which now has to be used at some point in the race, has raised concern.

"The tyre degradation here is pretty big," said Jolyon Palmer, who set pole position on Friday. "Everyone has done long runs here [in testing] so everyone has quite a good idea about what is going to happen on both compounds.

"I made some good races last year and with my experience hopefully I can take it home."

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