Stewards in China drop Heidfeld three grid slots

Stewards in charge of the Formula One Grand Prix of China have agreed with the on-track observation of Red Bull's David Coulthard and penalized BMW Sauber's Nick Heidfeld three grid places. Both drivers were making final attempts at flying laps...

Stewards in charge of the Formula One Grand Prix of China have agreed with the on-track observation of Red Bull's David Coulthard and penalized BMW Sauber's Nick Heidfeld three grid places.

Both drivers were making final attempts at flying laps during Saturday's first qualifying session when Heidfeld passed Coulthard. Heidfeld had produced a lap that could see him advance; Coulthard needed a faster lap to avoid relegation. Coulthard charged that Heidfeld's move prevented that attempt. Stewards agreed.

The revised grid formation drops Heidfeld from the third to the fifth row. Scuderia Toro Rosso's Sebastian Vettel, Toyota's Jarno Trulli and Toro Rosso's Sebastien Bourdais move up one place. That puts Italian Grand Prix winner Vettel next to the McLaren Mercedes of Heikki Kovalainen. Trulli and Bourdais take over the fourth row ahead of Heidfeld, who starts next to Renault rookie Nelsinho Piquet on the fifth.

Heidfeld starts ahead of his teammate, Robert Kubica, who is 12 points behind drivers' title leader Lewis Hamilton, the pole starter.

Though unable to advance from Q1, Coulthard benefited one grid place when his teammate sixth-best qualifier Mark Webber, was forced to drop 10 spots for needing to change the Renault engine in his Red Bull. Coulthard starts 15th.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jarno Trulli , Mark Webber , David Coulthard , Nick Heidfeld , Lewis Hamilton , Sébastien Bourdais , Heikki Kovalainen , Robert Kubica , Sebastian Vettel
Teams Mercedes , Sauber , McLaren , Toro Rosso