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Yuki Tsunoda

FIA hit Tsunoda, Stroll with penalties after qualifying infringement

Tsunoda was investigated on two counts of impeding rivals during qualifying for the Canadian GP.

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Yuki Tsunoda has been cleared of blame for allegedly impeding Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc in qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix.

The Japanese driver was hit with a three-place penalty after a similar investigation for an incident involving Haas driver Nico Hulkenberg.

Tsunoda failed to reach Q2 as wet conditions left AlphaTauri on the back foot, with teammate Nyck de Vries also eliminated in the first session.

Regarding his not-guilty verdict for his run-in with Leclerc, the stewards' report read: "Car 22 [Tsunoda] was slowed by Car 2 [Sargeant] in the area of Turn 10 and as a result aborted his push lap partway down the straight between Turns 12 and 13.

"Meanwhile Car 16 [Leclerc] was on a push lap closing rapidly. The driver of Car 16 stated that he backed off 'as a precaution' and conceded that this was a difficult situation for the team of Car 22 to manage, in the short distance prior to Turn 13.

"Accordingly we determine that Car 22 did not unnecessarily impede Car 16."

Penalty decision

But finding Tsunoda guilty of impeding Hulkenberg, the stewards' explained: "Car 27 [Hulkenberg] and Car 22 were both on fast laps with 22 in front. Car 27 was gaining on Car 22 and going into Turn 10, Car 22 went wide and then came back on the track in front of Car 27.

"The driver of Car 22 considered that he was still on his fast lap despite the fact that at that point he was approximately 3 seconds slower than his previous lap time.

"We determine that the driver of Car 22 unnecessarily impeded Car 27. After going wide at Turn 10 he could have abandoned his lap and kept off the racing line. This would have avoided any impeding."

Tsunoda will drop to 19th on the grid.

Stroll also hit

Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll will also drop three places for impeding Esteban Ocon in Q2.

The Frenchman was unaffected and reached Q3, but was left unimpressed having been held up on the run to Turns 7 and 8.

The stewards' report read: "The driver of Car 18 stated that although he was aware of Car 31 approaching, he had no choice but to remain on the dry racing line because his tyres (soft compound) were cold and if he had not, he would have crashed due to the wet nature of the track.

"However the team did make him aware of the closeness of Car 31 and it is our view that he could have reduced speed on the straight between Turns 7 and 8 and allowed Car 31 past. Because of this, he unnecessarily impeded Car 31."

F1 2023 Canadian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier


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