x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Petrov to face penalty for causing first lap crash

Vitaly Petrov will have a five-place grid penalty at the South Korean Grand Prix after causing what race stewards deemed an avoidable accident at yesterday's Japanese Grand Prix.

Vitaly Petrov will have a five-place grid penalty at the South Korean Grand Prix in two weeks' time after causing what race stewards deemed an avoidable accident at yesterday's Japanese Grand Prix. The Russian made contact with Nico Hulkenberg's Williams-Cosworth at the start after he had weaved across the grid. Petrov speared into the wall on the straight as a result of the impact, wrecking his Renault in the process. He said of the accident: "Unfortunately I hit the side of Hulkenberg's car and this is why I crashed."

A second incident on the first lap that saw Felipe Massa's Ferrari and Vitantonio Liuzzi's Force India-Mercedes collide was judged a racing incident, with no further punishment. Meanwhile, Bernie Ecclestone has agreed terms with Russia for the country to hold its first grand prix in Sochi in 2014, the year the city hosts the Winter Olympics. The Formula One chief told the Kommersant newspaper in Russia that negotiations for the contract had been agreed.

"The document has still not been signed but when the appropriate person from Russia signs it, I will sign it the next day," Ecclestone said.