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Sutil penalised for blocking Webber 25 Apr 2009

Adrian Sutil (GER) Force India F1 VJM02.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Bahrain Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Saturday, 25 April 2009 Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Bahrain Grand Prix, Practice Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Friday, 24 April 2009

Force India driver Adrian Sutil has been demoted three places on the grid for the Bahrain Grand Prix after race stewards decided he blocked Red Bull’s Mark Webber during qualifying on Saturday.

Webber was in the latter stages of a flying lap near the close of Q1 when he came upon Sutil, who was travelling more slowly. The Australian, who subsequently failed to make it through to Q2, felt that the German had severely hindered his progress.

“I don’t usually get caught out with that problem and that was the worst place to get nailed, as it wrecked both my flying laps,” said Webber. “I had nowhere to go in the last corner of my first lap and then Sutil slip-streamed past me for the start of my second, so it was a disaster. Q1 is the worst session to have had that problem, as now we’re at the back for tomorrow - my race is screwed.”

Following the session, Sutil was very apologetic: “I was just trying to make a gap to Alonso to start my lap and Mark came in on a flying lap, but I didn't know that. 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.”

The German had been set to start the race from 16th, but in light of the penalty will now drop to P19. Webber, meanwhile, will move one place up to 18th.