Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Pérez have each been slapped with three-place grid penalties for Sunday’s inaugural Indian Grand Prix, after both drivers were found to have breached safety regulations by posting their fastest lap-times of the opening practice session during a period of double-waved yellow flags.
Hamilton snatched the fastest session time of the day’s first 90-minute session when he shot to the top of the timesheets with a rapid 1:26.836 lap-time, some 0.6 seconds faster than second-placed Sebastian Vettel.
But at the same time, marshals at the track’s Turn 16 were busily extricating Pastor Maldonado’s stranded Williams from the gravel trap.
Pérez’s penalty came about for the same manner, meaning that the best starting position either one of these drivers can hope to claim will be fourth on the grid for Sunday’s 60-lap race.
Hamilton has also confirmed that he will take a gearbox change overnight. The McLaren driver will not take a five-place grid penalty for the decision, on the basis of the change not occurring immediately before Saturday’s quaifying session.
[Image via Sutton Images]