Alpine's Pierre Gasly penalised 6 grid places for impeding rivals in Spanish qualifying

MONTMELO, Spain -- Pierre Gasly will drop six places on the grid for Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix after the stewards penalised him for having impeded rival drivers on two separate occasions during qualifying.

The Alpine driver qualified fourth but will now drop to 10th on the grid, moving Lewis Hamilton, Lance Stroll, Esteban Ocon, Nico Hulkenberg, Fernando Alonso and Oscar Piastri up one place.

Gasly blocked Carlos Sainz at the final corner early in Q1 and then Max Verstappen later in the same session at Turn 4. He received a three-place penalty for both incidents in two separate decisions.

On the Sainz incident, the stewards report said: "The driver of Car 10 [Gasly] stated he was aware that the second Ferrari was behind but felt he could do nothing to avoid impeding because of the high-speed delta and closeness of Car 55 to Car 16. However, it is the view of the stewards that he could have moved further to the right at the exit of turn 13."

With the Verstappen incident, the stewards said that Gasly was not warned that Verstappen was on a fast lap but that that did not excuse the impeding.

George Russell was also investigated for impeding Hamilton after the two collided on the pit straight while starting their final flying laps at the end of Q2. However, the stewards said mitigating circumstances had led to Russell blocking his teammate.

"The driver of Car 63 [Russell] stated that as he was just starting his fast lap he was looking forward and had not checked his mirrors," the stewards said. "His team did not inform him of the approach of Car 44.

"However, in mitigation, he was reacting to the car in front of him [Car 55] which had just finished its fast lap. In addition at the end of his out lap the driver of Car 63 had to slow significantly to avoid impeding Cars 1 and 55."