Bianchi and Pic to serve ten-place grid penalties

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Jules Bianchi and Charles Pic will both serve ten-place grid penalties at the Japanese Grand Prix having incurred their third reprimands of the season during the Korean Grand Prix weekend.

Both arrived at the track with a single reprimand each but collected a further two during the race weekend.

Pic was reprimanded for failing to stop at a red light on Saturday and in the race was found to have backed off insufficiently for yellow flags. His first reprimand of the season came at Spa where he was deemed to have rejoined the track in an unsafe fashion during practice.

Bianchi was also reprimanded in the race for going too quickly past yellow flags. On Saturday he received his second reprimand of the season for blocking Paul di Resta during qualifying. He had previously been reprimanded at Silverstone for missing the weigh bridge.

Both drivers automatically incur ten-place grid penalties for the next race, as Mark Webber did in Singapore following his ‘taxi ride’ with Fernando Alonso.

Their team mates also picked up reprimands during the race, though it was the first of the year for both of them. Max Chilton and Giedo van der Garde were both found to have driven too quickly during the Safety Car period.

Bob Fernley announced as president of McLaren IndyCar

Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images
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Bob Fernley will bring his experience as former deputy team principal at Force India F1 to McLaren Racing’s IndyCar effort in 2019.

Fernley will report directly to McLaren Racing’s CEO Zak Brown.

“Heading back to the Brickyard will be a very special experience for me,” Fernley said at IndyCar.com. “I am proud to be leading this McLaren project and team. The 500 is a hell of a challenge and we have incredibly strong competitors to overcome if we’re to be successful. We will need to prepare well for the month of May and that work starts now.”

Fernley’s appointing come of the heels of last week’s announcement that McLaren will create a brand new team to compete in the 2019 Indy 500.

MORE: Fernando Alonso to return to Indy 500 in 2019

For now, Fernley’s responsibility is to create an entry that is capable of allowing two-time F1 champion Fernando Alonso to win the Indy 500 in just his second start. But speculation has been widespread that the entry will be a jumping off point for a much broader involvement in IndyCar.

In 2017, Alonso qualified on the middle of row two (fifth), led 27 laps and succumbed to mechanical failure. His effort was impressive enough to be name Rookie of the Year for the Indy 500.

“Bob is a fantastic operator and someone I respect greatly,” Brown said. “His experience and leadership will be essential for us on this project. He is particularly talented at putting effective teams together and extracting maximum performance with finite resources. The Indy 500 is no easy race and Bob’s is a key role, so I’m delighted he’s on board.”