• Chinese Grand Prix

No action taken for DRS infringements

ESPN Staff
April 14, 2013 « Massa blames poor performance on tyre graining | Gutierrez given five-place grid penalty for Sutil crash »
Drivers were supposed to refrain from using DRS while yellow flags were out at Turn 14 © Getty Images
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The FIA has announced it is taking no action against eight drivers who used their DRS when it was disabled during the Chinese Grand Prix.

When Esteban Gutierrez ran in to the back of Adrian Sutil at Turn 14, the resulting yellow flags led the FIA to declare DRS disabled as the incident had occurred at the end of the first DRS zone. However, an ongoing technical problem means the FIA can't automatically disable the DRS from race control and that drivers have to do so manually. As a result, Lotus team principal Eric Boullier revealed that a number of drivers used the DRS in the second zone located on the pit straight as this was not in the yellow flag zone.

Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber, Jenson Button, Kimi Raikkonen, Romain Grosjean, Valtteri Bottas, Daniel Ricciardo and Max Chilton were all investigated for using DRS when it should have been disabled, but the FIA has confirmed no action will be taken. The FIA admitted that there were 'mitigating circumstances' which it had taken in to account, which it stated were:

'1. There was a delay of 1 minute from the display of the yellow flags until the message appeared on the official message system.

'2. The electronic marshalling system DRS disable function was not operational, so drivers were relying on team communications and information conveyed to them in the "Note to Teams" which was issued prior to the Race, resulting in a degree of confusion.

'3. The DRS use was on the main straight where a green light was displayed.'

That means the only post-race penalties were handed to Webber - three places on the grid in Bahrain for causing a collision with Jean-Eric Vergne - and Esteban Gutierrez, who receives a five-place grid penalty for hitting Adrian Sutil. Red Bull was also fined €5,000 for an unsafe release after Webber lost a wheel on track.