Romain Grosjean moved back from eighth to 10th on Malaysia grid
Lotus driver penalised for jumping the pitlane queue in Q2
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 01/04/15 3:51pm
Lotus’s Romain Grosjean has been demoted two grid positions at the Malaysia GP for a pitlane infringement during the rain-hit qualifying session.
The Frenchman had qualified eighth but was later moved back to 10th place for Sunday’s race by the FIA stewards for a transgression while cars queued up at the end of the pitlane ahead of Q2.
With teams anticipating rain in the early stages of the second session, they sent their cars out earlier to queue at the end of the pitlane in order to gain the best track position. Lotus didn’t release their two cars until the queue stretched back beyond their pit area, however rather than join the back of the pack, Grosjean nipped in ahead of Felipe Massa’s Williams when the green light came on.
That broke Article 23.6 of the Sporting Regulations which states that “any car(s) driven to the end of the pit lane prior to the start or re-start of a practice session must form up in a line in the fast lane and leave in the order they got there”.
Grosjean was therefore issued with a two-place drip drop, a penalty which moves Williams’ Valtteri Bottas into eighth and Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson to ninth.
Speaking before the penalty was issued, Grosjean said of his qualifying: “It wasn’t an easy qualy, but the team made the right calls. It was a safe choice to go out on extremes wets first. We then went onto inters but the timing didn’t allow us to finish our lap so we had to pit. We only did one timed lap in those conditions but we made it and I think we got the best we could.
“The race is going to be interesting; we have quite a mix of cars around us but it’s a long race, it’s a hot race and even without rain, it’s quite a demanding race on the cars and on drivers. It’ll definitely be interesting!”