Ericsson, Manor drivers hit with reprimands after FP1

Marcus Ericsson, Pascal Wehrlein and Rio Haryanto all picked up reprimands during first practice for the Austrian Grand Prix.

The Sauber driver was penalised for crossing the pit entry line early in the session, understeering wide and almost making contact with Daniel Ricciardo who was on a flying lap. Ricciardo ran wide as a result but said it wasn’t Ericsson’s fault over team radio, blaming the nature of the circuit. Despite Ricciardo’s message, the stewards still felt Ericsson had handled the situation poorly.

“The driver of Car 9 (ERI) claimed that the proximity of Car 3 (RIC) caused a loss of downforce, which in turn resulted in him oversteering over the white line at the entry to the Pit Lane,” the stewards’ decision read. “The probability of this being the case was confirmed by the Chief Engineer of Red Bull Racing. Notwithstanding this, the Stewards are of the view that the driver of Car 9, knowing that Car 3 was behind on a quick lap, should have reduced his speed earlier and allowed Car 3 to pass prior to the apex of the corner near the Pit Entry.”

Max Verstappen went off at Turn 6 and stopped in the gravel due to a broken front right suspension, resulting in a virtual safety car. Wehrlein was called to the stewards for not staying above the minimum virtual safety car time, and was reprimanded for the error.

“The driver gave evidence that he thought his speed would reduce much quicker than it did, and that he was surprised at how long it took to get to within the correct time due to this occurring on a very fast straight, which he had not experienced previously,” the stewards said. “Accordingly a Reprimand is deemed the appropriate penalty.”

Haryanto spun at the penultimate corner and then pulled in front of Ricciardo when rejoining the track, for which he was also reprimanded.

“Despite the driver’s assertion that he thought RIC would slow sufficiently under the yellow flag to allow HAR to re-join the track safely, the Stewards are of the view that there was potential risk in the manoeuvre and that therefore is was not safe,” the decision read.

For all three drivers the punishments are their first reprimands of the season. If a driver receives three reprimands in a season they will be handed an automatic ten-place grid penalty.

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