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Petrov Handed 5-Place Grid Penalty for Suzuka Crash

There was plenty of drama in the first corner of the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday, with two significant incidents causing quite some debris on the track and forcing the race officials to deploy the safety car. A few hours after the race, the FIA stewards acted accordingly and, after reviewing the incidents, issued only one penalty.

And it goes to Renault's Vitaly Petrov, who caused the first incident of the race after touching the front wheel of Nico Hulkenberg's car at the start. The Williams driver had a slow start and was immediately passed by Petrov, but the Russian turned left into the racing line too soon and made contact with the German. As a result, both drivers crashed out, but the FIA officials found Petrov guilty and enforced a 5-place grid penalty for the Korean GP.

The second incident involved Ferrari's Felipe Massa and Force India's Vitaly Petrov. The former enjoyed a great start and made up some positions from his 12th place on the grid, but was pushed off the track and into the inside grass in the first corner. He lost control of the car in the process and rejoined the track only to crash into Liuzzi's Force India car, causing both drivers to call it a day.

However, the FIA officials considered the Brazilian cannot be blamed for the crash and took no action against the Ferrari-an. That wouldn't have helped Liuzzi anyway, as the Italian was visibly affected and disappointed with yet another DNF this season.

I don't know if he had broken something on the car but he seemed to come into my side like a bullet. I don't think he was in control of the car at the time, but it's a shame as it's another first corner accident and then retirement for me,” said the Force India driver, who scored a single point in the last 8 races for his team.
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