Yuki Tsunoda handed grid drop and penalty points for FP2 infringement

Sam Cooper
Yuki Tsunoda ruffling his hair. Paul Ricard July 2022.

Yuki Tsunoda has had three places added to his already existing 10-place grid penalty after failing to slow for yellow flags at Monza.

The AlphaTauri driver committed the offence during the latter portion of FP2 at the Italian Grand Prix and was found to have not slowed upon the showing of the yellow flags both on his steering wheel and around the circuit.

The three-place grid drop is added to an existing penalty Tsunoda has going into the race at Monza as a result of incurring too many reprimands this season. Two penalty points will also be added to his superlicence, taking him to a total of eight for a 12-month period.

Tsunoda became the first driver since Mark Webber in 2013 to receive a penalty after reaching five reprimands this season.

 

A reprimand is an offence not deemed serious enough to warrant a penalty and the 2022 season saw an increase in the number allowed to five from the previous three.

Four of Tsunoda’s offences were driving-related, collected at the Bahrain, Australian and Monaco Grands Prix, while at Zandvoort he received a non-driving related reprimand for driving to the pits with loosened seatbelts after stopping on track.

As a result, Tsunoda will start 13 places back from his qualifying position for the race at Monza. Should he fail to make it to P6 or higher, he will start at the back of the grid along with Lewis Hamilton, who is serving a grid penalty for taking a fourth power unit of the season, and Carlos Sainz, also for power-unit reasons.

Tsunoda said he “couldn’t control it much” in regard to the penalty for the reprimands.

“It’s a shame I got reprimanded. The situation, I couldn’t control it much,” the 22-year-old said.

“And also, most of the reprimands I got was the first half of the season, which most of the time were free practice traffic things and the rule was not even settled.

“Especially the new race directors, they were finding the kind of line for the penalty.

“It’s not ideal of course, but anyway it is what it is. And at least I can reset those reprimands for the second half.”

It is set to be a weekend of penalties with Max Verstappen likely to receive a five-place drop for taking his fifth ICE of the season, while his team-mate Sergio Perez will be moved back 10 places for his fourth ICE.

The reason Verstappen receives a less severe penalty, despite taking a fifth rather than a fourth new engine, is FIA rules state if it is the first time the limit is exceeded then it is automatically a 10-place drop and then every breach after that is five. A driver who incurs a penalty exceeding 15 grid places will start at the back regardless of where they qualify.

Ferrari‘s Sainz has been given a 25-place penalty after exceeding his allocation of gearbox components, ES and MGU-K.

Valtteri Bottas will also be given a penalty following his stoppage during the Dutch Grand Prix. The Finn will be moved back 15 places. It is the second time in three races Bottas has been given that penalty having also been sent back the same amount of grid places for the Belgian Grand Prix.