Ocon demoted to last for impeding Palmer

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Ocon demoted to last for impeding Palmer
Valentin Khorounzhiy
By: Valentin Khorounzhiy
Nov 12, 2016, 6:05 PM

Manor driver Esteban Ocon was demoted to last place on the Brazilian Grand Prix grid for having impeded Renault's Jolyon Palmer during the first segment of qualifying.

Esteban Ocon, Manor Racing MRT05
Jolyon Palmer, Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
Esteban Ocon, Manor Racing MRT05
Esteban Ocon, Manor Racing MRT05, Kevin Magnussen, Renault Sport F1 Team RS16

Ocon was adjudged to have impeded Palmer at Turn 4, forcing the Renault driver to take evasive action.

While Palmer did make it through to Q2 regardless, Ocon was subsequently handed a three-place grid penalty and two penalty points on his license, bringing his current total to four points.

The stewards' verdict read: "At the end of the Q1 session, the driver of car 31 (Ocon) was on a slow lap having aborted his lap previously, while the driver of car 30 (Palmer) was on a fast lap.

"Entering the braking area of Turn 4, Ocon stayed on the racing line at the moment when Palmer was approaching, forcing Palmer off the racing line. At that time, Ocon was on the radio with his team, who did not inform him of the approaching car.

"When Ocon did see Palmer, he moved as far as possible to the right to avoid a dangerous situation, but the stewards concluded these were not mitigating factors, and that Ocon clearly impeded Palmer."

Ocon had initially qualified 20th, just 0.005s slower than teammate Pascal Wehrlein up ahead, but the Frenchman will now drop behind Sauber duo Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr.

Traffic and blocking around the short lap of the Brazilian GP venue Interlagos has been a talking point all weekend – and, indeed, Ocon himself had complained of it during qualifying, saying he had been held up by Wehrlein.

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