Jimmy Eriksson slams GP3 officials over Hockenheim race penalty
|Monday, July 21st 2014, 11:35 GMT|
GP3 title contender Jimmy Eriksson slammed series officials for the penalty that cost him a podium in Sunday's Hockenheim race.
Eriksson had fended off championship rival Alex Lynn for third place in the second leg of the German Grand Prix support event, but was given a 20-second post-race penalty for failing to respect yellow flags at the hairpin on lap two, dropping him to 15th.
The Swede ran wide at the corner as the pack slowed under yellows while marshals removed Pal Varhaug's car after his opening-lap collision with Sebastian Balthasar.
Eriksson came into the Hockenheim weekend carrying a grid demotion for a clash with Patric Niederhauser and Varhaug at Silverstone, and was frustrated with his latest punishment as he felt he had done enough to acknowledge the yellows.
"A very frustrating end to this weekend, when we've been working flat out to try and limit the damage of the Silverstone decision," said Eriksson.
"In my opinion, the penalty handed out to me at Hockenheim was extremely severe, and I do not agree with the view of the stewards.
"I respected the yellow flags by braking much earlier than normal, I backed off significantly as indicated by the sector time, and nothing actually happened - I think the penalty is out of proportion."
Lynn was the main beneficiary of Eriksson's penalty as he picked up his rival's third place and saw his championship cushion rise from 18 to 30 points with Eriksson pushed outside the scorers.
Red Bull protege Lynn reckoned he could have passed Eriksson on the road but for the yellows.
"Jimmy ran wide at the hairpin, just where there was a yellow flag, and because of the yellow there was nothing I could do," said Lynn.
"That was a bit disappointing - the one major mistake he made, and I wasn't allowed to capitalise.
"A few laps later I was able to have another go at him at the same place I'd passed [Dean] Stoneman, but I wasn't quite as far up alongside and he chopped across my nose pretty hard. I could have kept my foot in, but that would have ended up with a crash."