Ocon gets grid penalty for impeding Palmer in Q1 in Brazil

Manor Formula 1 driver Esteban Ocon has been hit with a three-place grid penalty for the Brazilian Grand Prix, meaning he will start from the back of the grid

Ocon gets grid penalty for impeding Palmer in Q1 in Brazil

The FIA stewards, including former Ferrari F1 driver Mika Salo, decided Ocon impeded Renault's Jolyon Palmer at Turn 4 during Q1.

The stewards' verdict explained that Ocon was on a slow lap, and forced Palmer off the racing line at the left-hander.

"At the end of the Q1 session, the driver of car 31 (Ocon) was on a slow lap having aborted his lap previously, while the driver of car 30 (Palmer) was on a fast lap.

"Entering the braking area of Turn 4 Ocon stayed on the racing line at the moment when Palmer was approaching, forcing Palmer off the racing line.

"At that time, Ocon was on the radio with his team, who did not inform him of the approaching car.

"When Ocon did see Palmer, he moved as far as possible to the right to avoid a dangerous situation, but the stewards concluded these were not mitigating factors, and that Ocon clearly impeded Palmer."

Although the incident was not costly to Palmer, whose first run in Q1 was fast enough to make it through to the next phase of qualifying, it did prevent him from improving his time.

Ocon was also hit with two penalty points, taking his tally to four points for the current 12-month period, as he was previously punished for overtaking under the safety car during this year's Singapore Grand Prix.

"The team didn't tell me Palmer was coming, I saw him at the last moment," said Ocon, who explained drivers were reminded in the drivers' briefing about not impeding rivals in qualifying.

"It was a complicated situation. We were discussing if I could do another lap, so the team was busy discussing that and didn't check that Palmer was coming.

"I couldn't move at that time because it could have been dangerous. I was not aware he was coming, so I blocked him.

"That was clear. I take the penalty, which is deserved. We start at the back now so we need a good start to get ahead of Sauber."

As Ocon drops to 22nd after qualifying 20th, this promotes Sauber pairing Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr to 20th and 21st respectively.

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