November 15th, 2013 (F1Plus / Chris Cameron-Dow) - Jenson Button has been penalised for passing under red flags during Free Practice 1 in Austin, Texas. Button received a three-place grid penalty from the stewards after it was found that he had passed another car on the way back to the pits under red flags.
The first practice session was red-flagged after 15 minutes of running because the medical helicopter had failed to arrive at the track. At the time, Button was fastest in the session and he and team-mate Sergio Perez were making the most of a fairly empty track by covering plenty of mileage early in the session.
Button headed back to the pits when the red flag came out, but did not hold position as required by the regulations. Instead, he passed a car as he made his way back to the pits. The stewards took a dim view of this breach of regulations and handed him a three-place grid penalty.
In a season in which McLaren have struggled for pace, this penalty is a big blow to Button, who will now likely struggle for a top ten finish on Sunday. Button has yet to finish on the podium this season, with a best finish of fifth in the Chinese Grand Prix.