Lance Stroll has been awarded a three-place grid penalty for a “lack of situational awareness” surrounding his crash with Nicholas Latifi.
The pair collided after Stroll passed his fellow Canadian while both were on a cool lap in qualifying, before Latifi tried to get back past the Aston Martin at full throttle and they came to blows in Q1.
Both drivers went to see the stewards after qualifying to discuss the moment from their points of view, and Stroll has since been blamed for the incident and will start the race last – as he would have done anyway, as he did not set a representative lap time.
The stewards’ verdict read: “At the exit of turn 5, STR appeared to not accelerate and was in the middle of the track. LAT made the decision to accelerate and pass STR on the right as STR was moving right toward the right hand edge of the track where the track curves slightly to the right on the run to turn 6.
“Contact was made between STR’s right front wheel and LAT’s left rear wheel, with the subsequent damage putting both cars out of the session
“The Stewards find that STR was predominantly to blame for the collision because of his lack of situational awareness of LAT’s passing manoeuvre.”
Latifi also put the blame squarely on the Aston Martin driver for what happened, claiming he moved across the track off-line to leave him without room to pass safely, but Stroll feels it was just purely bad timing that sealed it.
He told Formula1.com: “It was a very awkward situation what happened on a cooldown lap, Nicholas let me go. The track falls to the right there and it gets very narrow and the timing was just really bad I guess, and that’s what caused the collision.
“He went all of a sudden, very suddenly, and it falls to the right so the car kind of dips to the inside as the track falls away there, and I think the timing was just terrible.”
Highlights from Australian Grand Prix qualifying
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