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.

New Formula E champ, teammate fined for ‘underwear violation’

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During this past weekend’s pair of season-ending races in New York, newly-crowned Formula E champion Jean-Eric Vergne and Techeetah teammate Andre Lotterer were fined nearly $6,000 apiece for, well, there’s no easier way to say it than, “underwear violations.”

According to Jalopnik.com, the two drivers were fined for “wearing non-compliant” underwear during qualifying for Sunday’s second and final race of the weekend.

In addition to cash, the duo also lost two penalty points each for violating Article 30.14 of the Formula E 2017/2018 regulations.

In case you’re wondering, the violation has nothing to do with not wearing the right sponsor’s brand of jockeys or boxers.

Rather, Formula E ruled the underwear the drivers wore was a “safety issue” and that the drivers were penalized for wearing “non-compliant” underwear.

Drivers are required to wear fire- and flame-resistant outer- and under-garments while behind the wheel to help minimize the risk of being burned in the event of a crash and resulting fire.

Here’s how Formula E characterized the violation in a statement about Vergne’s penalty

“After checking the clothes, helmet and front head restraint of the driver, it was found that he was wearing non-compliant underwear pants which are not allowed by the [FIA’s] international sporting code. The driver apologized. The stewards consider that in this case the infringement occurred during group qualifying with limited cars on circuit for a short period of time.”

It’s not the first time Formula E drivers have been penalized for having on the wrong kind of drawers.

Former F-E champ Lucas di Grassi was penalized three points and nearly $10,000 in March for fire-resistant underwear that FIA officials called “too short.”

Gee, who knew that pre-qualifying “inspection” could be so personal?

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