<
>

Jenson Button handed three-place grid penalty for Pascal Wehrlein collision

MONTE CARLO, Monaco -- Following his collision with Pascal Wehrlein at the Monaco Grand Prix, Jenson Button has been given a three-place grid penalty for a race he is unlikely to ever take part in.

Button collided with Wehrlein while attempting to pass him at Portier on lap 61, launching the Sauber onto two wheels and into barriers. The incident ended both drivers' races and was subject to an investigation by the stewards that concluded Button was to blame.

The stewards handed the 2009 world champion a three-place grid penalty at his next race and two super-licence points, but because Button was returning for a one-off race to replace Fernando Alonso and has no plans to return to the grid in the future, the penalty is unlikely to be served.

The stewards' statement said: "The stewards heard the explanation of Button that he believed that after Wehrlein gave way to the Ferrari, that Wehrlein had lost momentum and that going into Turn 8 Wehrlein was also going to be on the dirty line.

"Wehrlein explained that he was in fact back on the racing line, at normal speed, and that he did not see Button move to the inside as he was not expecting it. Having reviewed all the angles of video, the stewards concluded that Wehrlein was on the racing line, and that the move button made was unlikely to result in a clean pass.

"The stewards did not consider the consequences of the collision which resulted from Button trying to brake at the last moment and Wehrlein's interlocked wheel causing the car to turn on its side.

"The stewards determined that Button was predominantly to blame, under Art. 38.2a of the Sporting code and caused the incident, and therefore applied a three-place grid penalty to Button for his next race this season, and two penalty points."