Adrian Sutil has been handed a five place grid penalty by the stewards after they deemed him to have blocked Romain Grosjean during qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix today.
The Sauber driver failed to make it past the first round of qualifying and finished 18th, meaning that this penalty will leave him last on the grid behind Marcus Ericsson and Max Chilton who had originally propped up the timesheets.
During the final minute of the session, Grosjean tried to pass Sutil down the back straight that leads to the final corner, but the German driver appeared to weave in front of him and compromise his lap time.
The stewards also opted to award Sutil two penalty points that go on his FIA superlicense as part of a new scheme for the 2014 season. Valtteri Bottas, Kevin Magnussen and Jules Bianchi have also collected two points for offences during the opening two rounds of the season.
Sutil was downbeat after qualifying given Sauber’s recent struggles, saying: “Today there was not much to achieve. However, making it into Q2 could have been possible. Unfortunately, we are still too slow on the straights, and I am personally struggling with the fact the car is overweight.”
The only other driver to have a grid drop is Daniel Ricciardo, who falls from third to 13th because of a penalty from the Malaysian Grand Prix last weekend.