Max Verstappen has received a three-place grid penalty and two penalty points on his super license for failing to slow down sufficiently through a yellow flag zone during qualifying. However, the grid drop is somewhat meaningless, as Verstappen was set to start Sunday's race from the back row due to engine penalties.
On his final flying lap in Q1, Sergey Sirotkin spun after running wide, which caused a double-yellow flag to wave. Drivers are required to dramatically slow down and be prepared to stop in the zone, however Verstappen failed to do so, even setting his personal best middle sector.
The two penalty points on his license moves the Dutchman up to 7 over a 12 month period. Drivers who accumulate 12 points over the course of a calendar year period will be handed a one-race ban.
Statement from the stewards
"The stewards reviewed video and telemetry evidence, heard from the driver of car 33 (Max Verstappen) and the team representative. The driver admitted seeing the yellow flag and stated that he steered to the left to avoid the stationary car (number 35).
"However, the regulation is very clear and states ‘It must be evident that a driver has reduced speed’. The telemetry showed that the driver maintained full throttle and did not apply any braking.
"In his defence the driver expressed the view that he felt he had acted safely. The stewards noted that the driver understood the error in not slowing and acknowledged that in future he will comply with the regulations. However in view of the emphasis now placed on compliance with yellow flag regulations, in the interests of safety, the stewards have applied the usual penalty for this offense.
"Competitors are reminded that they have the right to appeal the decisions of the stewards (with the exception of those referred to in Article 12.2.4 of the FIA International Sporting Code), in accordance with Article 15 of the FIA International Sporting Code and Article 9.1.1 of the FIA Judicial and Disciplinary Rules, within the applicable time limits."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing