Lawson loses F2 feature race pole to Drugovich over yellow flag violation

Formula 2

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Liam Lawson has lost pole position for this weekend’s Formula 2 feature race in Monaco after being penalised for failing to slow sufficiently for yellow flags.

The Carlin driver lost his pole-winning lap time, which he set after passing Felipe Drugovich’s crashed car, and was also given a was also given a five-place grid penalty.

Lawson, Ayumu Iwasa and Jack Doohan were all placed under investigation for improving their times under yellow flag, immediately following the session. Lawson and Iwasa were penalised, while Doohan was cleared.

The stewards ruled Lawson “did not noticeably reduce his speed in the sector where the yellow flag was displayed for the stranded car 11 [Drugovich].

“His mini-sector time was only 0.012s slower than his best time of that mini sector. During the hearing, the driver furthermore admitted that he saw the yellow flags and the yellow light panel at Marshal Post 20A. As it was not evident that the driver had reduced speed, the stewards impose the above penalty.”

Speaking to media immediately after the session, Lawson had said he felt there was nothing he could do to slow his time significantly, with Drugovich having crashed and been stranded on the approach to the start/finish line.

“I got to the last corner and basically there was nothing,” Lawson explained. “I came to the last corner and onto the straight and the pit wall is curved or the straight is curved.

“Where Felipe was parked, we couldn’t see basically until we got all the way around to the line. And at that point we’re 30 metres from the finish line. So I basically left a lot of space and drove around him.”

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Lawson will face a five-place grid penalty for the sprint race and has two penalty points added to his license, while Iwasa has been further penalised with a 10-place grid drop and three points added.

The stewards ruled Iwasa “did not reduce his speed significantly and did attempt to set a meaningful lap time. The driver did not abandon the lap.

“During the hearing, the driver furthermore admitted that he had not seen the double waved yellow flags and the double yellow light panel at Marshal Post 20A, although these were clearly in his line of sight. As it was evident that the driver had attempted to set a meaningful lap time, the stewards impose the above penalty.”

Doohan, the third driver investigated was cleared and allowed to keep his qualifying time, as he did not set a personal best last sector and was seven-tenths of a second off his best time through that section.

Drugovich is therefore promoted to pole position for Sunday’s feature race. Hughes takes pole for the partially-reversed grid sprint race on Saturday, with Lawson 11th and Iwasa 20th after their penalties.

Amaury Cordeel, who is on the brink of a race ban having accrued 11 penalty points, was also given a reprimand for driving through the Charouz pit box and hitting a stand of spare front wings.

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2022 Monaco Grand Prix

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Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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5 comments on “Lawson loses F2 feature race pole to Drugovich over yellow flag violation”

  1. So Lawson basically got penalized because the timing line proximity prevented him from a considerable time loss, not to mention, he was slower in the relevant mini-sector (yes, only by 0.012s, but still) rather than faster, so slightly weird.

    1. He failed to slow, rules are very simple. What you want? That the next yellow flag other drivers try to improve and could cause a bigger accident?. Doohan improved his lap time and it was ok because he slowed in the sector. That’s the way motorsporst is, every single driver from F1 to F3 was screwed more than one time because of red or yellow flags. People need to stop whining about that and get over it.

      1. And above all that, if you take some time to read the decision, Lawson admitted he saw the yellow flags.

    2. Rules are rules. Essentially a yellow flag means abort your lap, no matter how tenuous the situation may be.

      1. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
        28th May 2022, 7:51

        False, double-waved yellows mean that. Single just means ‘ slow down enough so you can come to a complete stop when needed’

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