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Villeneuve punished for impeding Fisichella 06 May 2006

Jacques Villeneuve (CDN) BMW Sauber F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, European Grand Prix, Practice Day, Nurburgring, Germany, 5 May 2006

BMW Sauber’s Jacques Villeneuve has had his fastest three laps from the final stage of qualifying deleted for impeding the progress of Renault’s Giancarlo Fisichella earlier in the session. Villeneuve drops from eighth to ninth on the provisional grid as a result.

Fisichella was irate after failing to make it through to the top-ten shootout and immediately visited the BMW Sauber garage to remonstrate with Villeneuve, claiming the former champion had needlessly blocked him during a flying lap.

It seems the stewards largely agreed, though they accepted that Villeneuve’s actions had not necessarily been deliberate. Their subsequent punishment would have demoted the Canadian to tenth, but an engine penalty for Williams’ Mark Webber means he should now start from ninth.

The FIA will publish the finalized grid on Sunday morning prior to the race.