Adrian Sutil handed three-place grid penalty for impeding Lewis Hamilton in qualifying
Incident at end of Q2 at Monza proves costly for former friends
By Pete Gill. Last Updated: 07/09/13 5:46pm
Adrian Sutil has been handed a three-place grid demotion for impeding Lewis Hamilton during qualifying for the Italian GP.
The Force India driver will start Sunday's race from 17th after being adjudged by the Monza stewards to have blocked Hamilton at the conclusion of Qualifying Two.
Hamilton was subsequently eliminated for the session and will line up just 12th after claiming pole position for each of the last four races.
Sutil was also handed a drive-through penalty during June's Canadian GP after ignoring blue flags and holding up Hamilton, who was running in second place at the time, for ten corners.
Rightly or wrongly, both incidents will inevitably be linked to the history between Sutil and Hamilton: Having been close friends with the Englishman at the outset of their F1 careers, Sutil announced last month that he had "lost all respect" for Hamilton after the 2008 World Champion did not testify at his trial for assault four years ago.
As a result of Sutil's punishment, Williams' Pastor Maldonado, the second Force India of Paul di Resta and Sauber's Esteban Gutierrez have all been promoted a place on the grid.