Following his incident with Mark Webber towards the end of the first qualifying session, Adrian Sutil has been handed a three grid slot penalty. The incident happened as Mark Webber was on his final run, and the Australian was, at the time, resting in the bottom five and was desperate to improve as his Red Bull car had the pace to be further up the table. However, as Webber came across the Force India of Adrian Sutil, the pair moved across the track together and Webber’s lap was ruined.
Adrian Sutil was just trying to move out of the way although it appeared he left it a little late, citing some confusion in an interview with the BBC shortly after he had returned to the paddock. The young German driver visited Mark Webber in his motorhome to apologise, but that would have done little to console the Australian who came to Bahrain off the back of his best result in his Formula One career.
I just tried to stay in my position to get a clear start to the lap. It was a misunderstanding and I apologised to Mark after the end of the session. Adrian Sutil.
The Red Bull RB5 has decent pace as shown by Webber’s team mate Sebastian Vettel. Sebastian managed to qualify third for tomorrow’s race and had Webber not been impeded, he almost certainly would have made it through to the final qualifying session. Instead, Red Bull will now have a difficult time in working out how to give Mark a decent strategy so that he can improve his position in the race.
Although Webber initially qualified in P19, Sutil’s demotion of three grid slots means that the Australian has been promoted to P18 while Sutil will start the race in P19.