Logan Sargeant, Williams, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2023

Sargeant given 10-place grid penalty for yellow flag infringements

Formula 1

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Logan Sargeant as been given an unusually severe 10-place grid penalty for failing to obey yellow flags during qualifying.

The stewards noted the Williams driver failed to slow sufficiently for the yellow flags and overtook the AlphaTauri of Yuki Tsunoda.

The yellow flags were displayed at the end of Q1 when Fernando Alonso spun at the exit of turn three. Carlos Sainz Jnr, Valtteri Bottas, George Russell, Yuki Tsunoda and Sergio Perez all passed through the yellow flag zone with Alonso’s car sat stranded on the side of the circuit.

Sargeant was the next driver to pass the yellow flag scene, with Alonso still on the side of the track to drivers’ left. Sargeant passed by Alonso and also overtook Tsunoda.

He set a first sector time of 27.903 seconds, which was almost fourth tenths slower than his first push lap. The rookie completed the lap and was eliminated from Q1 after it was only good enough for 19th. However, that final lap was also deleted as he went beyond track limits at turn 11.

After hearing from Sargeant and examining data from the incident, the stewards rejected his explanation for passing Tsunoda.

“The driver of car two [Sargeant] stated that he overtook car 22 [Tsunoda] because he appeared to be going slowly and also because he saw the green panel ahead.

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“The stewards determined however that this was a breach of the regulations. The fact that a driver can see a green panel or flag ahead, does not mean that overtaking can occur in what is still a yellow flag zone. Overtaking can only occur after passing the green panel or flag.

“It was also noted that he did not make a sufficient reduction in speed.”

Despite the severity of the penalty, it will make no difference to Sargeant’s starting position. He was already due to line up last of the 20 drivers, having failed to set a time in qualifying and been given a dispensation to take part in the race as he had set sufficiently competitive times in practice.

The stewards also gave Sargeant two penalty points on his licence, which puts him on a total of six.

His Williams team was also fined for a separate incident which coincidentally also involved Tsunoda. The AlphaTauri driver struck a jack which had been left unattended by the team in the pits.

Williams admitted the error and was fined €20,000 (£17,400), half of which is suspended for a year on the condition that they do not commit a similar offence again in that time.

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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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4 comments on “Sargeant given 10-place grid penalty for yellow flag infringements”

  1. So starting last is effectively guaranteed for Brazil sprint.

  2. I don’t get that, Hamilton hasn’t done the same and got away with it yesterday?

  3. “The driver of car two [Sargeant] stated that he overtook car 22 [Tsunoda] because he appeared to be going slowly and also because he saw the green panel ahead.

    After the Red Bull shenanigans in Japan involving Pérez holding up Norris (although a bit exaggerated by the latter), some clarity on when a car is going sufficiently slow and can be overtaken under yellow would be nice for everyone involved.

  4. SanFran (@andrewfrancis80)
    29th October 2023, 12:47

    I think they should mark out another 10 grid slots and make him start in 30th place.

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