Romain Grosjean has been handed a three-place grid penalty for triggering an opening-lap crash which took him and two other drivers out of the Spanish GP.
The Haas driver lost his car mid-pack at turn three, span back across the track in a cloud of tyre smoke and collected the cars of Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg and Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly.
All walked away from the accident unharmed, but each saw their race end before it ever really began, as Grosjean, who qualified in the top-10, was credited with an 18th-place finish.
The Barcelona stewards deemed Grosjean made the wrong decision to try and correct his spin on track and handed him the three-place grid demotion for the race in Monaco later this month.
The Frenchman has struggled so far this Formula 1 season for the Banbury prepared side and is one of two drivers without a point.
A dejected Grosjean said afterwards: “There’s not much to say. I lost the rear end in turn three and I just spun. If you look at the footage, I had wanted to avoid contact with my team-mate.
“Kevin [Magnussen] had a bit of a wobble, I lifted off the throttle, and then the car just went.
“I’m sorry for the others that were involved – there wasn’t much I could do once the car went.”
He added: “I had wanted a steady race, but that wasn’t today.”
Team-mate Magnussen is ‘showing up’ Grosjean, according to former Renault driver Jolyon Palmer.
The Dane fared much better in Barcelona, taking his car home in sixth behind the top-five of Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull.
He said: “I had a really good start. I was alongside the Red Bulls, but I didn’t really want to fight them as I knew they were much faster.
“My job was to stay in seventh and settle down from there.
“I was able to defend well, keep out of trouble on the first lap, so I was happy.”
World champion and Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton claimed victory in Spain.
Round six of the season is the Monaco GP on May 27.