Marcus Ericsson was given a three-place grid penalty for Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix after being found guilty of impeding another driver during Saturday’s qualifying session at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza.
The Swedish driver was on a warm-up lap and was spotted by the cameras getting in the way of the Force India of Nico Hülkenberg at the Parabolica during the Q1 phase of qualifying.
Hülkenberg also complained on the pit-to-car radio – which was broadcast by on the world feed – that Ericsson subsequently baulked him at the Variante della Roggia.
Both drivers managed to make it all the way into the top-ten shootout for pole, with Hülkenberg qualifying ninth-fastest after his car stopped with a fuel feed problem at the end of his first run, while Ericsson opted for only one timed run in Q3 and was the slowest runner.
The FIA Stewards subsequently summoned Ericsson and Hülkenberg to their offices for a post-qualifying hearing, and after reviewing all available telemetry and video footage, ruled that Ericsson had impeded the German.
He was issued with a three-place grid penalty – dropping him to thirteenth and promoting Lotus’ Pastor Maldonado, Sauber teammate Felipe Nasr and Manor Marussia’s Will Stevens further up the grid.
The FIA Stewards’ panel – considering the egregiousness of the offence – also saw fit to hand Ericsson two penalty points to his FIA Superlicense, bringing the Swede’s tally to seven. Should he earn 12 penalty points in a twelve-month period, Ericsson will be banned from contesting the next Grand Prix.
Images via Sauber AG