By Alex Kapadia
Formula One team Force India narrowly missed being awarded a points penalty after a tyres blunder in the pitstop during the German Grand Prix yesterday.
However, the team was given a reprimand after the wrong tyres were fitted to their two cars, giving Tonio Liuzzi team-mate Adrian Sutil’s rubber and vice versa.
The drivers pitted again immediately to rectify it the mistake.
Sutil said: “It was always our strategy that, if after the start I had not made up places, I would pit on the first lap to change to the prime tyres and make up positions when other cars stopped later on.
“It was a good plan as you have nothing to lose when you are that far down, but there was some confusion in the stop.
“Tonio had radioed to say he was coming in for a front wing change and as we both arrived at the same time the tyre sets got mixed up and then I had to come in and pit again to get the correct set. Once they were on I got going and I could get quite far up the field but then I had to stop when the set went off.”
The rules state that “the use of tyres without appropriate identification may result in a grid position penalty or exclusion from the race”. However, the German GP stewards instead opted to give Force India a reprimand.
The decision means the drivers keep their positions, with Liuzzi in 16th and Sutil in 17th.