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Coulthard penalised for blocking - updated 26 May 2007

David Coulthard (GBR) Red Bull Racing RB3.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Monaco Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Thursday, 24 May 2007

Red Bull’s David Coulthard has been punished for impeding the Renault of Heikki Kovalainen during Saturday’s second knockout qualifying phase. Coulthard, who had made it through to Q3, is now expected to start 13th in Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix.

Kovalainen was in the latter stages of a flying lap near the close of Q2 when he came upon Coulthard travelling far more slowly at the end of an out lap. The Scot failed to move out of the way of the Finn, even when the Renault driver tried to pass the Red Bull.

The incident was immediately investigated by the stewards, who quickly decided that Coulthard would not be allowed to participate in Q3. Timing screens at the end of qualifying indicated that Coulthard would drop to 16th. He was subsequently listed 11th in the results before stewards clarified his provisional grid position.

Coulthard’s exclusion from Q3 was good news for fellow Briton Jenson Button, who having finished 11th in Q2 for Honda, subsequently inherited the final place in the top-ten shootout, going on to qualify tenth.

Kovalainen, meanwhile, was unable to improve on his Q2 time after being baulked in the closing corners of his lap and failed to make it through to the final phase of qualifying. As a result, he is due to start from 15th. The provisional grid will be published by the FIA on Sunday morning.