Five drivers have been handed grid drop penalties following today’s Qualifying session, while Jack Doohan has been disqualified and will start both races from the back of the grid. Amaury Cordeel, Frederik Vesti, Clément Novalak, Olli Caldwell and Jüri Vips will all serve their penalties in the Sprint Race.
Doohan has been disqualified from the results of Qualifying for failing to supply the required 0.8 kg of fuel in parc ferme after the session. The Virtuosi racer – who finished third - has been permitted to start from the back of the grid in both races.
Cordeel has been served with a 10-place grid drop for the Sprint Race. The Van Amersfoort Racing driver did not slow sufficiently when passing Logan Sargeant’s stationary Carlin, despite the Red Flag and double waved Yellow Flag signals shown following the American’s crash.
Vesti has been given a three-place grid drop for Saturday’s race. While on a cooldown lap, the ART Grand Prix was found to have impeded Ralph Boschung on the approach to Turn 27. Vesti stayed wide at the entrance to the corner, before misjudging the Campos driver’s closure rate and turning towards the apex too early.
Novalak has been given a five-place grid drop after the MP Motorsport driver was found to have impeded Caldwell at Turn 22.
Although it was noted that Novalak was checking his mirrors, he did not do so as he moved right towards the edge of the track. When he did check his mirrors, Novalak saw Caldwell approaching rapidly on his right and jerked quickly to his left to allow the Campos driver to pass on his inside.
The Stewards determined that the lack of situational awareness by Novalak, combined with the high-speed nature of that section of the circuit, resulted in a particularly dangerous case of impeding.
Caldwell has also been handed a grid drop penalty. The Campos Racing driver will be demoted three places after it was found that he impeded Vips at Turn 22.
Vips was on a push lap and had to brake early to avoid an incident with Caldwell, who was approaching Turn 22 on the racing line. The Stewards determined that the Campos driver could have taken better measures to avoid impeding Vips.
Vips has been given a three-place grid drop as well, with the Stewards determining that he impeded Enzo Fittipaldi.
While on the racing line, the Hitech Grand driver was moving slowly approaching Turn 10. Due to the lack of mirror coverage in these turns, and without being warned by his team, Vips was not aware of Fittipaldi. The Charouz Racing System driver had caught up to Vips at the apex at Turn 10 and was forced to take evasive action off the track to avoid hitting the Hitech.
With Doohan disqualified, Dennis Hauger is promoted to 10th in the final Qualifying classification and gains reverse grid pole. The PREMA Racing driver will start ahead of Jake Hughes and Calan Williams.
Vips is dropped to P6 on the starting grid, behind Ayumu Iwasa, who will start from fourth and Liam Lawson, who will start from fifth.
Novalak will now line-up from 15th, with Vesti 17th, Caldwell 19th and Cordeel 20th.