Marcus Ericsson will start the Italian Grand Prix from the pit lane after being found guilty of a yellow flag violation during Saturday’s free practice session.
The Swede – who qualified slowest of all for the sixth time this season – was summoned to the FIA Stewards’ offices after the session. He was ruled to have failed to slow sufficiently when yellow flags were waved for Sergio Pérez’s slowing Force India midway through the one-hour session.
As punishment, Ericsson was hit with a pit lane start and had three penalty points added to his FIA Superlicense.
By contrast, there were plenty of smiles on the other side of the Caterham garage, where Kamui Kobayashi managed to qualify 19th-fastest, beating both Marussia drivers for the fourth time this season.
The Japanese driver came within four-hundredths of a second of outqualifying Romain Grosjean’s Lotus, which would suggest that the major upgrades being fitted to the CT05 are perhaps yielding some dividends.
“I’m very happy with today’s qualifying result!” Kobayashi beamed on Saturday evening.
“I think the updates we introduced in Spa are working well and this is very positive news for the team. I didn’t have much time in the car yesterday, but I think it has been a very good comeback. We worked hard overnight to improve the car and we’ve ended up ahead of our competitors today. I’m very confident for tomorrow – it will be a very challenging race but we are looking strong.”
Images via XPB Images