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.