AlphaTauri's Yuki Tsunoda hits out at 'unfair' Spanish Grand Prix penalty: It was 'ridiculous'

MONTMELO, Spain -- Yuki Tsunoda labelled his penalty at the Spanish Grand Prix "ridiculous" after he dropped from ninth place to 12th following an in-race investigation by the stewards.

The AlphaTauri driver was penalised five seconds for forcing Zhou Guanyu off the circuit at Turn 1 on lap 56 while defending ninth place.

Tsunoda defended the corner on the inside, but Zhou was able to get ahead of the AlphaTauri in the braking zone, which was listed in the stewards' report as a defining factor in issuing the penalty.

"Car 24 [Zhou] was in front at and after the apex of Turn 1 and hence under the Driving Standards Guidelines was entitled to racing room," the stewards said. "Car 22 moved across to the outside of the corner, forcing Car 24 off the track."

Asked for his thoughts on the penalty after the race, Tsunoda said: "It was a ridiculous penalty and it feels really unfair. That's it.

"I left him room and I feel like he just gave it up in the early stages and went outside. He got caught out and there was still space outside there. I gave pressure but there was still space."

Zhou argued the penalty was correct, again citing the fact he was ahead going into the corner.

"It was very straightforward," the Alfa Romeo driver said. "I was ahead before braking into Turn 1 and then mid-corner, I was actually giving a lot of space. Then I just saw him [and he] wasn't stopping.

"[He tried] to release the brakes [but he] ran me off, which I had to take avoiding action and [use the] escape road, otherwise we would be crashing together.

"So, that was tricky after that because I had so much rubbish on my tyre. But then, in the end, I was able to keep behind him in the right position and get the position back."