Gasly and Giovinazzi post-qualifying penalties shake up Monaco grid
Traffic management is often the biggest problem during Monaco qualifying – and two drivers falling foul of the stewards this year were Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi and Red Bull’s Pierre Gasly, with both drivers receiving post-qualifying penalties for impeding their fellow drivers.
Giovinazzi was hauled up for blocking the Renault of Nico Hulkenberg in the first part of qualifying, having baulked the German as the pair entered Rascasse. The stewards eventually decided that a three-place grid drop – which will see him fall from 15th to 18th for the start of Sunday’s race – was the punishment that best fitted the crime, laying the blame both on Giovinazzi and Alfa Romeo for failing to give him fair warning of the fast-approaching Hulkenberg.
Romain Grosjean, meanwhile, was left furious after being blocked by the Red Bull of his fellow countryman Pierre Gasly as they were heading down to Mirabeau in Q2. Grosjean was forced to jump on his brakes to avoid running into the back of his rival, ruining his final effort in the segment and meaning that he failed to join Haas team mate Kevin Magnussen in Q3 – with Magnussen then adding insult to injury by finishing as the fastest of the midfield runners in P6.
The stewards dished out the same penalty to Gasly as they did to Giovinazzi (With the addition of a penalty point for the Red Bull driver), meaning the Frenchman drops from fifth to eighth on the grid – which, ironically, promotes Magnussen even higher up the order into P5.
Charles Leclerc, meanwhile, will have one less car to pass as he bids to climb the order following his Q1 debacle, moving to P15 following Giovinazzi's drop.
Grid drops at any race are unwanted – but around the narrow confines of Monte Carlo, they’ll mean a much harder race for Gasly and Giovinazzi come Sunday…