Vitaly Petrov has copped the blame from the FIA stewards for causing the first-lap collision with Williams driver Nico Hülkenberg that put both drivers out of the Japanese Grand Prix.

The race is barely seconds old, and Petrov is just about to slam into the wall after clipping Hulkenberg The FIA stewards panel – which comprised former F1 driver Alexander Wurz on its roster this weekend – have therefore issued the Russian a five-place grid penalty for next weekend’s Korean Grand Prix.

Hülkenberg bogged down off the starting grid and was quickly overtaken by Petrov, who then seemed to chop across the bows of the Williams driver as he moved back onto the racing line too soon.

In the stewards’ hearing, Petrov tried to argue that he moved left to avoid Nick Heidfeld’s Sauber, but the onboard footage taken as evidence seemingly didn’t support his claims, and he was deemed to have “caused a collision”.

The stewards also investigated the first-corner accident between Felipe Massa and Vitantonio Liuzzi, when the Brazilian lost control of his Ferrari as he went on the inside grass before spearing out of control into the side of the Italian’s Force India.

Upon investigation, the stewards decided no further action would be taken.

[Original image via AUTOSPORT]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.