Jean-Eric Vergne has been handed a twenty second time penalty following an incident with Sauber’s Esteban Gutierrez at the end of today’s United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas.
Whilst Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel charged to an eighth straight victory at the head of the field, Vergne endured a lacklustre race outside of the top ten. However, he found himself in the running for a solitary point in the last few laps as Daniel Ricciardo, Jenson Button and Esteban Gutierrez fought with the Frenchman for tenth position. Eventually that position went to Ricciardo, but Vergne found himself coming under pressure from Gutierrez for position on the exit of turn twelve. The two made contact and the Sauber driver pirouetted into the gravel as a result, eventually crossing the line in fourteenth place.
However, the stewards soon confirmed that they were investigating the incident, and deemed Vergne to be responsible. As a result, he was handed a twenty second time penalty, meaning that he drops from P12 on track down to P16 in the final classification.
Vergne is set to be replaced in FP1 for next weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix by youngster Daniil Kvyat, who will be his teammate in 2014.
“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.
“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”
Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something
we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”