Esteban Ocon, Force India, Circuit of the Americas, 2018

Stroll and Sainz get penalty points, Ocon under investigation

2018 United States Grand Prix

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Lance Stroll and Carlos Sainz Jnr have been given penalty points for their incidents during the United States Grand Prix, while Esteban Ocon is under investigation.

Stroll received two points on his licence in addition to his drive-through penalty in the race for causing a collision with Fernando Alonso on the first lap.

“During the first lap car 18 [Stroll] left the track and while re-joining at turn four made contact with car 14 [Alonso],” the stewards noted. “As a result of the incident car 14 retired.

“The stewards considered that the driver of car 18 is fully to blame for the incident.”

Sainz was given one penalty point and a five-second time penalty after he was found to have kept his position by running off the track at turn one. However the stewards cleared him of crossing the white line at pit entry during his reconnaissance lap, ruling he had returned to the track safely.

Sainz is now on three penalty points, Stroll seven. Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel were cleared of blame for their collision on the first lap.

However the stewards also announced Esteban Ocon is under investigation for “exceeding the fuel mass flow [limit] during lap one.” Romain Grosjean and Charles Leclerc are also under investigation for their collision.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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22 comments on “Stroll and Sainz get penalty points, Ocon under investigation”

  1. Very harsh on Sainz. He left the track but then so did Hamilton and a few other drivers.

    Would also like to see video of a few corners later when at the Alonso/Stroll incident Verstappen deliberately short-cut 2 corners but I’m not sure that he gained any places.

    1. I know, and he didn’t actually gain a place at that point. When I saw him being investigated after going from 11th to 7th I assumed it was pretty slam dunk but when we actually see the replays he did nothing wrong. Luckily it didn’t affect his position.

  2. Didn’t Vettel run wide in the exact same manner as Sainz just behind him? I know he didn’t gain any actual positions, but as he rejoined he got a bit close to Hülkenberg who almost clashed with Ocon because of that. I wouldn’t punish him either by the way, but I thought it odd that it was overlooked.

  3. It’d be interesting to watch Sainz’s onboard cam… considering his progress during the first lap, maybe the 5 second penalty was worth it!

  4. Come on Roman, 3 points for hitting Leclerc!…

    Also I don’t really see how Sainz running wide at turn 1 was any different to Vettel immediately in front of him.

    1. Its absolutely different! One has a red car, the other has a yellow car.

      1. Lol.

        Also, just 1 point for Grosjean. Think 2 would have been more appropriate.

    2. @eurobrun
      Vettel was playing it safe with keeping his frontwing far way from the car in front and not gaining anything whatsoever. Sainz braked late to overtake and had to let the car go wide to make it. Theres a world of difference.

      1. Okay but like Verstappen said; those penalty points are stupid. Just give him the 5 seconds penalty but those penalty points are so over the top.

      2. @rethla: That’s an interpretation. Another interpretation is that Sainz was avoiding contact with the Sauber in his inside and Vettel was running wide to protect his position against Hulk and Ocon. And we could easily find another ten interpretations. The facts, however, as opposed to the interpretations, are as follows:
        Fact 1: Both drivers did exactly the same maneuver and followed exactly the same line.
        Fact 2: One of the cars was red and the other yellow.
        Fact 3: Penalty for the yellow car, no penalty for the red car.

        1. @alonshow
          Fact 4: sainz locked up before he went wide.

  5. Grosjean back to his old self again today. Dreadful driving.

  6. From the overhead view It was kind of clear why Sainz was penalized. He wasn’t pushed out by any car on his inside and going off did help him get ahead of the FI car.

    So with Ocon, surely that would risk a DSQ if he was really found to have gone over the fuel flow limit, right? That would be a big change in the results.

    1. So, since Magnussen is under investigation for the same, what is going on with those fuel flow meters suddenly? Both in line for DSQ then?

      1. @bascb
        I thought the same but it turns out Magnussen didnt breach the fuel flow but the fuel limit. Just some oddities that looks similar but aint.

        1. Oh, new info on that? where did you get that from @rethla?

          1. @bascb
            From racefans :)
            Theres at least two articles here going into more detail about Magnussens fuel limit breach.

          2. :-) yeah, I was on my mobile yesterday, so didn’t notice the updated articles with more detail

  7. Lenny (@leonardodicappucino)
    22nd October 2018, 1:05

    Why are the stewards so odd at the US? Last year there was the big debate over consistency with track limits, and this year some of the penalties are just way off. Stroll got a drive-through penalty, which we have not seen at any point before this season, for apparently “[leaving] the track and while re-joining at turn four [making] contact”. My first instinct was that that was very harsh, and after seeing some replays, I don’t seeing Stroll doing anything wrong. He goes down the inside of Alonso, is alongside, Alonso starts turning in because he has someone on his outside as well, Stroll tries to avoid an accident by going off track but isn’t quite able to do so. He didn’t even really leave the track from what I can see. Also again there is the question of consistency with the Sainz penalty, which was also a bit harsh in my opinion.

    1. @leonardodicappucino

      I found this view on YouTube.

      Yeah, he just barely puts all 4 outside of the track before coming along Alonso. Basically he missed the apex.

      So the entire leaving the track and rejoining thing, while technically the best explanation, isn’t what it looks like. Basically he missed the apex, probably gained a meaningless, or no advantage, but then got massive contact because Alonso didn’t see him.

      I guess the steward’s view was he was only there because he gained an advantage. But it wasn’t anything like Verstappen’s move last year. It looks to me like he gained a massive disadvantage by putting himself in a position where he had to be blamed for the crash that was only partially his fault.

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