Lawson Loses Pole as Monaco Stewards Issue Penalties to Drivers

Lawson Loses Pole as Monaco Stewards Issue Penalties to Drivers

Carlin driver Liam Lawson has lost pole position for Round 5 of the FIA Formula 2 championship in Monaco after post-session investigations saw several drivers receiving penalties.

The stewards found that the New Zealander failed to reduce his speed when passing through yellow flags in the closing stages of Group A qualifying.

The Red Bull Junior Team member is one of three drivers penalised following Friday’s qualifying session in Monte Carlo.

Championship leader Felipe Drugovich had hit the outside barrier on the exit of Antony Noghes corner before stopping his MP Motorsport car on the pit straight.

Lawson, who saw the yellow flags and panels around the incident, continued to set his final lap time, with his mini sector time in that area just 0.012s slower than his best time before that.

Lawson, who was disqualified from the second Monaco Sprint Race last season, had his best time deleted, meaning he set the third fastest time of his group.

On top of that, the stewards also handed the Kiwi a five-place grid drop for the Sprint Race, meaning he will start that race from 11th place.

 

Another Red Bull Junior was in trouble with stewards, too; DAMS driver Ayumu Iwasa was slapped with a 10-place grid drop for failing to abandon his lap despite the marshalls waving double-yellow flags.

The Japanese rookie said he had not seen the double-waved yellow flags or panels as he went on to complete a meaningful lap time, despite Drugovich’s stranded MP car.

20-year-old Iwasa also had his best time deleted, which dropped him to seventh fastest in Group A.

With his 10-place penalty, the former Hitech F3 driver will start the Sprint Race from a lowly 20th and the Feature Race from 13th.

 

The third driver penalised post-qualifying was Olli Caldwell of Campos Racing.

21-year-old Caldwell was found guilty of impeding Virtuosi driver Marino Sato through Turn 2, Turn 3 and Turn 4.

The Briton, believing the pair were on similar strategies, had failed to allow his Japanese rival through, who was chasing a hot lap.

Caldwell has been given a three-place grid drop for his next race, meaning he starts the Sprint Race from 21st on the grid, having qualified 20th.

 

As a result of all the penalties, Felipe Drugovich claims pole position and the two championship points that come with it, which he will hope to convert into a second consecutive Feature Race victory.

Van Amersfoort Racing’s Jake Hughes will take up pole position in the reverse grid Sprint Race on Saturday.

Drugovich, who now leads the championship by 28-points, will be confident of leaving Monte Carlo with an even larger margin over his championship rivals.

Image: Formula Motorsport / Getty Images

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