Manor Mercedes’ drivers Pascal Wehrlein and Rio Haryanto and Sauber Ferrari’s Marcus Ericsson have all received reprimands following the end of the first free practice session at the Red Bull Ring in Austria on Friday. Pascal Wehrlein was handed the reprimand after failing to slow down enough during the virtual safety car period that occurred during the session. A statement was released from the stewards which stated “ The driver fave evidence that he thought his speed would reduce much quicker than it did, and that he was surprised at how long it took to get within the correct time due to this occurring on a very fast straight which he had not previously experienced. Accordingly, a reprimand is deemed the appropriate penalty.”

Teammate Rio Haryanto was handed a reprimand after re-joining the circuit in an unsafe manner in front of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo after the prior had experienced an off track excursion. The statement from the stewards regarding Haryanto’s reprimand was as follows: “Despite the driver’s assertion that he though RIC (Ricciardo) would slow sufficiently under the yellow flag to allow HAR (Haryanto) to re-join the track safely, the Stewards are of the view that there was potential risk in the manoeuvre and that it was not safe.”

The third and final driver to be handed a reprimand was Marcus Ericsson, he was found to be guilty of causing an incident with Daniel Ricciardo, forcing the latter to take avoiding action around the Sauber as Ericsson tiptoed round turn eight bound for the pit lane. Red Bull’s Ricciardo felt that the Swede was not at fault for the incident but blamed it on the track layout. The stewards deemed it to be Ericsson’s fault as they believe he could have slowed sooner before the apex of the corner to allow the Red Bull racer through.


© Fay Tilley 3rd June 2016.