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Gutierrez ‘respects but disagrees with’ penalty

Aug 26, 2013, 10:30 AM EDT

F1 Grand Prix of Belgium - Race Getty Images

Esteban Gutierrez was keen to stress he “respected” the FIA’s decision to penalize him during the Belgian Grand Prix even though he did not agree with it.

The Sauber racer was handed a drive-through penalty after running off the track at Blanchimont while overtaking Pastor Maldonado.

“I totally respect the FIA’s decision to penalize me for overtaking Pastor, but I don’t agree with the penalty,” said Gutierrez.

It was a frustrating weekend for the Sauber driver who showed pace in practice but was knocked out in the first part of qualifying and started from the back row of the grid.

“We lost a lot of time in the first stint with the traffic I encountered as I was coming from the back of the field,” he said. “The strategy we planed was not ideal, so we had to change it and that still wasn’t perfect.”

However Gutierrez says his car’s pace in the race has raised his hopes of scoring points before the end of the season: “To be able to fight and to extract the maximum today is good to know.”

“Now we have to improve in qualifying, because I think with the pace we have we can still fight for the top ten.”

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