Sargeant hit with 10-place grid penalty


Sargeant hit with a 10-place grid penalty for failing to comply with yellow flag regulations, while no further actionis taken over Alonso, Verstappen and Russell for impeding in the pitlane.

The American, who failed to set a time in Q1 after having his time deleted for track limits violations, was summoned by the Mexico City stewards for failing to comply with the yellow flag shown to him at Turn 3.

Sargeant told the stewards that he overtook Yuki Tsunoda because he appeared to be going slowly and also because he saw the green panel ahead.

The stewards determined however that this was a breach of the regulations as the fact that a driver can see a green panel or flag ahead, does not mean that overtaking can occur in what is still a yellow flag zone. Overtaking can only occur after passing the green panel or flag.

It was also noted that he did not make a sufficient reduction in speed, consequently he was handed a 10-place grid drop and two penalty points.

Meanwhile the stewards opted to take no further action over Fernando Alonso, Max Verstappen and George Russell after they were alleged to have stopped at the pit exit thereby preventing other cars from exiting.

Having heard from all three drivers, their team representatives, the race director and the single-seater sporting director and reviewed positioning/marshalling system data, video and in-car video evidence, the stewards noted in particular the evidence of the three drivers in that several other cars slowed either at the pit exit or in the pit road leading up to the SC2 line.

The stewards consider that the entire set of incidents occurred as a direct result of the implementation of the minimum lap time between SC2 and SC1 which is designed (correctly so, in their view) to avoid dangerous backing-up of cars on the circuit during qualifying.

They noted that there are contrary requirements on drivers in that they must respect the minimum time, as they are attempting to create manageable gaps to cars in front, yet they are also required to avoid unnecessarily stopping at the pit exit or driving unnecessarily slowly.

It was also particularly noted that the race director accepted that these contrary requirements exist.

All parties including the stewards are firmly of the view that it is better to have the potential of cars backing-up in the pit lane or at the pit exit, instead of the potentially dangerous situation of large speed differences on track.

The stewards therefore consider that in the main all drivers involved in these incidents were acting in good faith and with safety as a priority. They also accept that race direction has taken the correct approach in apply the minimum lap time.

While admitting that it is desirable that a better solution be found for the pit exit, at this stage, what that solution would be, is unknown.

As a result it was decided to take no further action.

Check out our Saturday gallery from Mexico City here.

Article from Pitpass (

Published: 29/10/2023
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