Sato sent to back of grid

Sato sent to back of grid

Takuma Sato has been stripped of his qualifying time and will have to start the Turkish Grand Prix from the back of the grid. During qualifying at Istanbul BAR's Sato, who was on his in lap, hampered the Williams of Mark Webber when Webber was on...

Takuma Sato has been stripped of his qualifying time and will have to start the Turkish Grand Prix from the back of the grid. During qualifying at Istanbul BAR's Sato, who was on his in lap, hampered the Williams of Mark Webber when Webber was on his flying lap. Stewards decided Sato was at fault and deleted his time.

Takuma Sato.
Photo by xpb.cc.

Sato said he'd had no communication from his team in regard to Webber and didn't know the Williams was behind him until it was almost too late. "We had a radio interference problem and the team were unable to tell me his position on the track," Sato said.

Webber believed the incident cost him significant time. "He (Sato) did a very slow lap, then an even slower in-lap, which compromised my qualifying but that's how it goes," he commented. "That was a really important corner and it probably compromised my lap by about three tenths of a second."

Reportedly BAR will not appeal the decision. It's not certain exactly which position Sato will start from; Michael Schumacher, Jacques Villeneuve, Robert Doornbos and Narain Karthikeyan all failed to set a qualifying time so there's now five drivers milling about at the back.

Schumacher spun in qualifying and aborted his lap, then had an engine change as he would be starting from the back anyway. Karthikeyan had two engine changes this morning and didn't set a time in qualifying. Doornbos aborted his lap due to brake problems and Villeneuve also spun off.

Schumacher and Karthikeyan should technically start from the back row as the engine changes incur the 10 place demotion penalty. Previously when several drivers failed to set a qualifying time the positions were decided by car numbers, which would put Sato (car no.4) 16th. The official grid will not be available until Sunday.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Takuma Sato , Michael Schumacher , Jacques Villeneuve , Narain Karthikeyan , Robert Doornbos
Teams Williams