The FIA stewards have issued reprimands to the Force India team and Lotus driver Heikki Kovalainen for separate incidents during the German Grand Prix race.
The Spaniard made contact with the Lotus while lapping him towards the end of the race, with Kovalainan closing the door into Turn 2 after letting another car by to lap him.
Kovalainen took the blame for the accident, and admitted to not having seen the Sauber driver trying to get by.
“It was just one of those things that can happen when you’re having to let cars past,” Heikki said. “It was my mistake but I didn’t see the Sauber coming. I thought I was letting the Williams past, and didn’t see the Sauber so I closed the door and that was the end of the race.”
The Force India drivers, Vitantonio Liuzzi and Adrian Sutil, were the victims of a rare incident at the start of the race when each driver was given the other’s tyres after both drivers made a lap-one pit stop to repair accident damage.
While both drivers immediately pitted again to rectify the error, the rules state that “the use of tyres without appropriate identification may result in a grid position penalty or exclusion from the race.”
The stewards issued the team with a reprimand for this oversight, and allowed Liuzzi and Sutil to keep their finishing positions – respectively 16th and 17th – in the wake of the team’s least competitive showing of the season.
[Original image via Formula1.com]