Sutil to receive five place grid penalty after gearbox change

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Adrian Sutil has received a five place grid penalty after changing his gearbox ahead of qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix on Saturday.

The German driver is currently fighting to secure his future in Formula One after a difficult run of form that has seen him pick up just three points since the British Grand Prix back in July. That said, these are the only points that Force India as a whole have scored in this time period as Paul di Resta’s form has nose-dived thanks to five consecutive retirements.

During the final practice session at Suzuka on Saturday morning, Sutil made an error on the exit of Spoon, causing his Force India to spear into the wall on the left-hand side of the track and causing damage to his car, warranting a new gearbox.

This incident did end his session but the team was able to repair the car in time for qualifying, but the lost running did prove costly as Sutil could only qualify in seventeenth place.

As a result of the penalty, Sutil will start the Japanese Grand Prix from last on the grid. Jules Bianchi had qualified last and does carry a ten place grid penalty into the event after picking up three reprimands across the course of the season. However, as his penalty was received before Sutil’s, it is applied to the results in that order, meaning that the Marussia driver actually makes up a position.

Charles Pic is also subject to a ten place penalty due to his tally of reprimands, but he will drop just one place on the grid to P20 behind teammate Giedo van der Garde.

Social roundup: Racing world largely outraged by Verstappen penalty

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The discussion over Max Verstappen’s post-race five-second time penalty assessed in Sunday’s United States Grand Prix, issued when he tried to the inside of Kimi Raikkonen at the Turns 16, 17 and 18 carousel complex at Circuit of The Americas, will roll on far beyond today.

The debate today largely centered over consistency in adjudication and application of the rules, track limits themselves (always a sore subject at COTA given its wide runoff areas) or whether there should be permanent stewards.

In the immediate aftermath, though, Twitter lit up with outrage over Verstappen being assessed a five-second post-race time penalty.

Here’s a mere sampling of the reaction, below.