Ocon to start last after penalty for impeding Palmer

2016 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Esteban Ocon will start the Brazilian Grand Prix from last on the grid after being given a three-place penalty for impeding.

The Manor driver originally qualified 20th but has been given a three-place grid penalty for holding up Jolyon Palmer during Q1. The Renault driver complained on the radio about his rival but was still able to progress to the next stage of qualifying.

Brazilian Grand Prix qualifying in pictures
The stewards said Ocon failed to leave the racing line when Palmer was approaching despite his rival being on a quick lap. However they also took into account the fact Manor had not warned Ocon that Palmer was catching him.

“At the end of the Q1 session, the driver of car 31 (Ocon) was on a slow lap having aborted his lap previously, while the driver of car 30 (Palmer) was on a fast lap,” noted the stewards.

“Entering the braking area of turn four Ocon stayed on the racing line at the moment when Palmer was approaching, forcing Palmer off the racing line. At that time, Ocon was on the radio with his team, who did not inform him of the approaching car.”

“When Ocon did see Palmer, he moved as far as possible to the right to avoid a dangerous situation, but the stewards concluded these were not mitigating factors, and that Ocon clearly impeded Palmer.”

Ocon was also given two penalty points, putting him on a total of four.

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    Keith Collantine
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    5 comments on “Ocon to start last after penalty for impeding Palmer”

    1. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
      12th November 2016, 20:08

      2 penalty points for that???

      1. @come-on-kubica – yeah, like you, I felt the penalty points were harsh given the mitigating action that Ocon took as a driver upon seeing Palmer, when his pitwall failed to inform him (pushing it into the realm of team error rather than driver error).

        The grid drop should have been combined with a team fine, in my opinion. However, I’m not sure if the penalty awarded is codified somewhere, preventing stewards from making this distinction.

        1. Well, at least it can be said that the stewards are consistent with the heavy handed punishments when it isn’t one of the top drivers…

          Grid penalty, to penalise the team is good, but, they already noted that as soon as Ocon was aware he moved away, so the 2 points is overly harsh…

          1. Well, at least it can be said that the stewards are consistent with the heavy handed punishments when it isn’t one of the top drivers…

            That was my first thought as well – a cynical one, though – but somehow it doesn’t fit with Palmer escaping punishment for unequivocally blocking Button in Austin.
            Palmer (17th in the championship) blocks Button (15th), and doesn’t even try to get out of his way – no penalty.
            Ocon (24th) blocks Pamer (17th), trying to get out of his way, but in vain – grid penalty and two penalty points.

            I don’t know, maybe it’s just that I lack creativity, but no matter how hard I try, I just fail to see any emerging pattern.

    2. Correct decision – but why on earth did they spare Palmer (USA) and Vettel (Mexico), who didn’t even try to get out of Button’s and Hamilton’s way?
      Yet another blatant inconsistency, it’s sickening me.

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