When the Safety Car was deployed in the dying laps of the race – following the race incident between Robert Kubica and Sebastian Vettel – Trulli was running in 3rd place. However, a driving error caused his Toyota TF109 to spin, therefore allowing Hamilton to pass him for a podium finish.
The overtaking occurred under the Safety Car, but the Toyota driver was out of the track when his car spun. That led him to believe he is still entitled to the 3rd place, which he immediately took back from Hamilton (breaking the FIA rules that clearly prohibit any overtaking under Safety Car).
The 25 seconds of penalty have demoted Trulli all the way to 12th place. Under the revised classification, all drivers from Hamilton onwards advanced one spot in the race, therefore giving Toro Rosso’s Sebastien Bourdais his first point this season.
Furthermore, the Aussie organizers have also penalized Sebastian Vettel for causing the penultimate lap accident with Kubica. The German was handed a 10-grid slot penalty for the upcoming Malaysian Grand Prix, while also a $50,000 fine for not parking his car immediately after hitting the wall on Lap 57.
Update: Toyota will appeal the stewards decision