Lance Stroll, Aston Martin, Las Vegas Strip Circuit, 2023

Stroll avoids second penalty after five-place grid drop for passing under yellow

Formula 1

Posted on

| Written by and

Lance Stroll was hit with a five-place grid penalty for Saturday’s Las Vegas Grand Prix after he overtook under yellow flags in final practice.

However he avoided a second penalty after the stewards investigated him for another potential yellow flag infringement in qualifying.

The Aston Martin driver was summoned to the stewards ahead of qualifying for the Las Vegas Grand Prix due to an incident that occurred in the closing minutes of Friday’s final practice session.

After Alexander Albon hit the wall at the exit of turn five with under 10 minutes remaining in the one-hour session, the Williams driver cruised slowly back to the pits with a left-rear puncture. The tyre eventually detached from the wheel as Albon drove along the strip, but while marshals waved double yellow flags to warn oncoming drivers of the hazard, there was no indication of the yellow flags on the FIA system.

Stroll approached on a fast lap but despite the waved double yellow flags he overtook C arlos Sainz Jnr.However, it was not until Stroll had reached the braking zone for turn 14 that the yellow flag first appeared on the FIA system, 50 seconds after Albon’s tyre had detached from his car.

AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda also appeared to overtake Valtteri Bottas directly in front of the double-waved yellow flags, but only Stroll was noted to have overtaking under yellow flags. After investigating, the stewards deemed Stroll to have infringed the regulations.

“Double yellow flags were waved at Marshal Post 12.9 as Car 18 [Stroll] approached that point along the straight,” the stewards described in their decision. “After passing the flags, which were clearly visible on the onboard video from Car 18, Car 18 overtook Car 55 [Sainz].”

“The driver of Car 18 stated he had his ‘head down’ looking at his dash and was concentrating on the Ferrari ahead of him and missed the flags. Although there were no yellow light panels displayed, the regulations are clear that the flags and light panels have the same meaning.”

The stewards handed Stroll a drop of five places for Saturday’s grand prix, leaving him down in a provisional 19th position on the grid. He also received three penalty points on his superlicence, bringing him to a total of five over the last year.

Speaking to media including RaceFans, Stroll said that he suspected there was a problem with the FIA system that led to the marshal boards not activating.

“I just didn’t see the yellow flags,” he explained. “Normally we get it on the dash and on the yellow [marshal] board, but there was nothing that came up on the monitors. I think it was a problem with the system, so I missed the flag.”

After qualifying, Stroll was also investigated by the stewards for allegedly failing to slow under yellow flags when a car went off track at turn five, but after examining Stroll’s telemetry data it was determined that he had sufficiently lifted off ahead of the corner and had gone slower through the sector than his previous lap, satisfying the stewards that no infringement had been committed.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix

Browse all 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix articles

Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

2 comments on “Stroll avoids second penalty after five-place grid drop for passing under yellow”

  1. I don’t know why, but good for him; 19th place is better than 20th. It seems that he’s got some problem with yellow lights and their meaning, not unlike many drivers in regards to traffic lights. Or maybe this is a conspiracy, especially considering what that weighbridge did a couple of months ago. Well, “I think it was a problem with the system” maybe means that he thinks there is something in it.

  2. inconsistent application of the rules. Its horrible, they are destroying some people’s races some rounds through application of the rules, and completely ignoring obvious punishments in other rounds, and their safety crew clearly doesn’t have enough time to test track conditions/signaling systems. This season has been horrible, almost like watching Masi hand the title to max a few years ago.

Comments are closed.