Grid penalty for Stroll after Latifi qualifying crash

Lance Stroll. Picture: Aston Martin F1 Twitter

Lance Stroll has been given a grid penalty for his part in a crash with Nicholas Latifi in Qualifying 1 at the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix.

The Aston Martin driver has been penalised three grid positions and issued two penalty points on his licence, taking him to seven points for the 12-month period.

Stroll had, however, been not been classified after qualifying anyway, and hence was already set to start rear of grid for tomorrow’s 58-lap race at Albert Park.

Somewhat coincidentally, he will share the back row of the grid with the Williams of Latifi.

Stewards advised in their report that, “LAT pulled off course to the left and slowed at the exit of turn 4 to let cars by, the last of which was STR.

“At the exit of turn 5, STR appeared to not accelerate and was in the middle of the track. LAT made the decision to accelerate and pass STR on the right as STR was moving right toward the right hand edge of the track where the track curves slightly to the right on the run to turn 6.

“Contact was made between STR’s right front wheel and LAT’s left rear wheel, with the subsequent damage putting both cars out of the session.

“The Stewards find that STR was predominantly to blame for the collision because of his lack of situational awareness of LAT’s passing manoeuvre.”

Neither of the drivers involved were willing to take the blame for the incident in comments shortly after qualifying.

“I haven’t seen him yet,” said Latifi at that time.

“I mean, I’m sure we’re both going get called to the stewards at some point.

“But, I mean, I don’t really think there’s really much to say.

“It’s clear on the video was at fault and it doesn’t really matter if you apologise, if he doesn’t apologise; it’s done.”

Recounting the incident, Latifi said, “We were on a cool down lap, so I wanted to get back by him and there was a big gap at times, even when I was alongside him, and then it was no more gap when he decided to turn in.”

He added, “It’s clear that he didn’t know I was there, otherwise no driver would turn in. So for sure, he did not see me there; he wasn’t looking at the mirrors.

“We’re both on cool down laps but you still have to be aware of your surroundings at all times, so it’s unfortunate.”

Stroll had said, “We were on a cool lap and I think he… I saw the video and he went to try and pass me all of a sudden in a very awkward part of the circuit.

“The circuit falls off to the right and then to the left where that is and I think what happened was just very awkward.

“He was, you know, all of a sudden just trying to come by me and it gets narrower as the circuit falls to the right and then we made contact.

“So, yeah, quite a ridiculous incident.”

The Williams wore the brunt of the damage as it spun down the track and along the wall, Latifi remarking, “It was a big hit in the sense of the impact on the rear.

“I mean, obviously, the actual impact itself was very small for a crash. It’s just because of the way the impact was, the consequences of the damage on the car were quite large.

“That’s a really shitty thing, for a lack of a better word.”

Race start tomorrow is scheduled for 15:00 local time/AEST.

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