Raikkonen and Ricciardo penalised for pit exit error

Kimi Raikkonen queuing up to get out on track in the final moments of Q2

Kimi Raikkonen queuing up to get out on track in the final moments of Q2

Formula 1 title contender Kimi Raikkonen and Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo were handed two place grid penalties for Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix after pit lane offences in qualifying.

The pair were penalised by Formula 1 stewards for jumping the queue to leave the pit lane after the second qualifying session had been halted when Brazilian Felipe Massa crashed his Ferrari.

All the cars returned to the pits while the track was cleared before being allowed to resume qualifying with less than two minutes remaining of the second phase.

Lotus’s Raikkonen should have been the fourth car to leave the pits but went out second after lining up on the left side of the pit exit. Ricciardo, in a Toro Rosso, also jumped two places.

Stewards relegated both, with Raikkonen’s penalty applied before Ricciardo’s.

Bizarrely, because the Finn qualified ninth and Ricciardo 10th, Raikkonen actually dropped only one place and will start in 10th with Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg moving ahead of the Finn and the Australian to ninth.

Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado (Williams), Mexican Sergio Perez (McLaren) and Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso) were also investigated about their exits from the pit lane but were cleared of any wrongdoing.

The drop could still have a big impact for Raikkonen, who is currently second in the drivers’ championship.

If the 2007 world champion finishes in the top 10 in Montreal, he will equal Michael Schumacher’s record of 24 successive grands prix in the points.

Speaking before the penalties were handed down, he said he was disappointed by qualifying but was expecting a much better performance on race day.

“We cannot do much worse than we did today, so I’m sure we’re going to improve and have a good race,” he said. (Reuters)

Subbed by AJN.

Reports on GrandPrix247.com by: staff & contributors, Reuters syndication, GMM service, Formula 1 teams, sponsors & organisations.