Stroll handed Australian GP grid penalty after Latifi qualifying clash

Lance Stroll has been handed a three-place grid penalty for causing the crash with Nicholas Latifi in the first stage of Formula 1 qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix.

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR22

Stroll and Latifi crashed towards the end of Q1 at Albert Park on the run between Turn 5 and Turn 6, sparking a red flag.

Both drivers were on warm-up laps ahead of their final runs and had been exchanging the position.

Latifi attempted to pass Stroll up the inside on the run to Turn 6, only for the Aston Martin driver to move to the right and for their cars to collide.

Both drivers were quick to blame each other over team radio, with the stewards swiftly confirming there would be an investigation after the session.

Following the hearing, the stewards confirmed that Stroll had been deemed predominantly to blame for the crash, and would receive a three-place grid penalty for Sunday’s race.

However, this will have zero material impact given he was classified last in Q1 anyway having failed to set a time.

The Canadian also has two penalty points added to his FIA superlicence, taking him up to seven for the 12-month period.

The stewards wrote in the bulletin that Stroll had a “lack of situational awareness of Latifi's passing manoeuvre” up the inside towards Turn 6, making him predominantly to blame for the collision.

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin

Photo by: FIA Pool

“He went to try and pass me all of a sudden in a very awkward part of the circuit,” said Stroll following the clash.

“The circuit falls off to the right and then to the left where that is, and I think what happened was just very awkward.

“He was all of a sudden trying to come by me and it gets narrow as the circuit falls to the right, and we made contact. So yeah, quite a ridiculous incident.”

Latifi said it was “quite clear” watching the video who was to blame.

“I let him through because he was pushing to open a lap, or so I was told,” he said.

“And then I saw he aborted the lap, so I wanted to carry on with my own preparation lap, so I went back by him.

“There was a big gap and, once I kind of got past him, for whatever reason, he decided to turn.

“It's clear for me on the video.”

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