Sato excluded, Villeneuve punished 09 Oct 2005
BARs Takuma Sato has been disqualified from his home Grand Prix for running Toyotas Jarno Trulli off the road early in Sunday afternoons race at Suzuka.
Sato ran into Trulli after a late dive up the inside at the final chicane on lap 10. The Italians car sustained heavy damage, forcing him to retire. Sato was able to continue and eventually finished 13th.
However, after examining video evidence and showing it to both drivers and their team managers, stewards decided that Sato had forced Trulli off the track and subsequently stripped him of his result.
It follows a recent ten-spot grid penalty for Sato in Brazil, punishment for a collision with Michael Schumacher at Spa which took both men out of the Belgian Grand Prix.
Stewards also added 25 seconds to Jacques Villeneuves race time after deeming him responsible for Juan Pablo Montoyas crash, which brought out the safety car at the end of lap one.
Villeneuve appeared to run wide at the final corner, forcing Montoya off the circuit. The McLaren skipped through the gravel and collided with the barriers, sustaining heavy rear damage and putting Montoya out of the race. Villeneuve continued to finish 11th.
However, after again examining video evidence and showing it to both drivers and their team managers, stewards decided that Villeneuve had forced Montoya off the track. His subsequent penalty drops him to 12th place in the results.
Montoyas retirement dealt a blow to McLarens constructors championship hopes, leaving just team mate Kimi Raikkonen to pick up points, as rivals Renault got both cars home and regained their lead in the standings.