Caterham driver Marcus Ericsson will start tomorrow’s Monaco Grand Prix from the pit lane as punishment for crashing into Felipe Massa during qualifying today.
Massa moved off line at Mirabeau in order to let the Caterham driver through, as he was on a hot lap. However, Ericsson ran very wide and crashed into Massa, bringing out yellow flags and effectively ending the session.
The incident also meant that Massa could not take part in Q2 despite getting through, and the Brazilian driver will start the race from 16th place tomorrow. However, Ericsson was happy to accept complete blame for the collision.
“On my final push lap I was behind Massa going into turn five and he moved off-line a bit which meant I had to change my braking point,” the Swede explained. “I locked up and went into the barrier with him which was my mistake. It’s unfortunate it took him out too but it looks like the car is ok so now I want to put today behind me and concentrate on the race.”
The FIA also handed Ericsson two penalty points that will remain on his superlicense for 12 months.
Massa was less impressed by the incident, saying: “I did everything I could in the first session but at the end Ericsson hit me and that ruined my qualifying. I was hopeful for a good position today as the car actually felt ok.
“It would have been a fight to get into the top ten, not easy, but possible. I am disappointed and tomorrow is going to be a challenge but with this car points are still possible.”
Massa will start three places behind his teammate, Valtteri Bottas, who qualified 13th today.
Ericsson’s penalty is a strange one considering he qualified last anyway. In fact, it could be beneficial for him if there is an incident at the first corner, as he would avoid this thanks to the pit exit at Monaco which bypasses Sainte Devote.
The Swede is running with a replica of compatriot Ronnie Peterson’s helmet in honor of his victory at Monaco 40 years ago.