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Verstappen stripped of pole position after stewards' investigation

  • Published on 27 Oct 2019 00:35
  • comments 21
  • By: Fergal Walsh & Coilin Higgins

Red Bull's Max Verstappen has lost his provisional pole position this afternoon after being found guilty of speeding under yellow flags during the last few moments of Q3, also taking a three penalty and two penalty points for the infringement.

Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas crashed at the final Peraltada corner, bringing out the yellow flags as other drivers rounded the corner to finish their final runs, ending any chance of some late changes in the grid order.

Verstappen had been found to have not slowed to a sufficient speed coming through the final sector, and was summoned to see the stewards after the session. An official statement from the FIA read:

"Driver of car 33 [Verstappen] admitted that he was aware that car 77 [Bottas] crashed and did see the car on the left hand side of the track, but was not aware of the yellow flag. He also admitted not reducing his speed on the yellow sector."

The statement also noted the stewards' acknowledgement that the car ahead of Verstappen at the time, Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel managed to reduce his speed when he came upon the scene of the accident.

"Do we have to go there, to safety? I think we know what we are doing otherwise we would not be driving an F1 car," Verstappen commented. "It’s qualifying and, yeah you go for it. Like I said before if they want to delete the lap, then delete the lap."

This now means that Verstappen will now lose his pole position to Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, and will drop three places down the grid for tomorrow's race, starting alongside Lewis Hamilton on the second row.

Replies (21)

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  • It's an absolute shame, but he 100% deserves a penalty. A harsh one too. You can't floor it under double yellows with a fellow driver wrecked on the site of the track. I hate to say it, but in this case he deserves a very harsh penalty. Anything other than that would set a terrible precedent.

    • + 4
    • Oct 27 2019 - 00:33
    • Yes, harsh and fair. This one was a pretty blatant offense.

      • + 2
      • Oct 27 2019 - 02:36
    • This is a case where I think most people agree on what's been done. He didn't slow down while yellow flags were waved, he got penalized for it.

      • + 0
      • Oct 27 2019 - 06:55
  • Flatlander

    Posts: 1

    It wasn't double yellow...he did go slower (perhaps not sufficient). As the accident happened in the last corner, he would have been faster anyway as he already gained 0.2s.

    They should have deleted the lap and be on with it. But they really want Ferrari to be on pole i guess.

    • + 0
    • Oct 27 2019 - 01:02
    • denis1304

      Posts: 275

      just because he won pole position doesn't mean rules don't apply to him
      google "massa-grid-penalty-yellow-flags-belgian-gp-945101/3042549"
      doesn't really matter when you commit the offence

      • + 0
      • Oct 27 2019 - 01:23
    • abhidbgt

      Posts: 251

      Were you watching the same q3? Did he lift off? He set a purple in that sector.

      • + 0
      • Oct 27 2019 - 03:50
    • You are right. But only
      about it was single yellow. I’m a huge fan of Max AND Dutch, but Max was wrong here. He should have lifted, no matter if 1, 2 or none yellow flag was waved. He saw Bottas in the barrier, that should be enough to pull down.

      • + 1
      • Oct 27 2019 - 15:01
  • f1ski

    Posts: 622

    He set purple in that sector. Even Vettel slowed as he approached the corner. I think all drivers know to slow flags or not.

    • + 2
    • Oct 27 2019 - 01:31
  • f1ski

    Posts: 622

    That said that lap should have been stripped not his prior time.

    • + 0
    • Oct 27 2019 - 01:32
    • TheDentist

      Posts: 19

      The lap time was but the grid penalty was more for unsafe driving, look what happened recently when a car hit another that was involved in an incident...the driver died.. in my opinion it should have been a harsher punishment, he got off lightly with only 3 grid spots

      • + 0
      • Oct 27 2019 - 12:15
  • Reifer-5

    Posts: 4

    It's a pity for Max. He drove an excellent lap, but rules are rules. Remember Vettel in USA, he also got a three place penalty, because he did not lift enough when there was a red flag, and that was in free practice and there were not even other cars on the track, just gravel. So Max got the right penalty and could have even gotten a heavier penalty. It sucks for him and his fans, but after what happen in Belgium everyone can agree rules around safety is very important.

    • + 3
    • Oct 27 2019 - 02:08
  • Mansell

    Posts: 102

    Good,
    He's a danger to himself, other drivers and track workers,

    How did he know the next corner he flew round he wouldn't collect a crashed car or a track worker,

    The penalty isn't great enough.

    Should be right to the back of the grid for this dangerous type of driving,

    • + 0
    • Oct 27 2019 - 04:42
  • I think it's fair. He already had a fast laptime, so it makes his choice of speeding during yellow flag even more baffling, and IMO, just deleting the laptime wasn't sufficient when he broke the rules while a fellow driver was in a barrier. Should it be harsher? I don't think so. 3 Places down on the start is already pretty big. It's things like these that limit Max from becoming a true great.

    • + 1
    • Oct 27 2019 - 07:02
    • He let the genie out of the bottle with his aggressive driving and others followed suit. Now when other drivers do things to him that he did to them un-apologetically, then he complains like a little drama queen. Just when he starts to look like he's maturing and making improvements he does something dumb again. His collision with LeClerc obviously wasn't his fault, but his reaction that I saw in a post race interview just came off as really juvenile. I can understand that he has had to learn the hard way what the line is for penalties so it appears now he is very quick to call foul on other drivers when they do something he's done in the past. With this penalty he did a blistering 'banker' and then just threw it away. Kind of hard for me to feel sorry for him when he does that kind of stuff.

      • + 1
      • Oct 27 2019 - 07:33
  • He definitely deserves it. After all, there comes a time when we all have to follow the rules. Otherwise, the world will turn into a real jungle. Max has to learn his lesson -and learn it well- because, along with his passion, he has brought a little of jungle to the sport. He should study the example of the great Kimi, a world champion and an impeccable driver.

    • + 0
    • Oct 27 2019 - 07:31
  • Hamilton improved from an 1m15.290 to 1m15.262 in his last attempt. Is that being investigated too? Or was he ahead of Bottas when #77 crashed out?

    • + 0
    • Oct 27 2019 - 07:43
    • Either that, or he slowed down sufficiently once he came to the flagged area that it was found okay.

      • + 0
      • Oct 27 2019 - 09:45
    • Reifer-5

      Posts: 4

      Lewis was ahead of Bottas, he just cross the line when you can see Bottas crash in the background.

      • + 1
      • Oct 27 2019 - 09:45
    • denis1304

      Posts: 275

      @Reifer-5 Hamilton was behind Bottas on the last lap

      • + 0
      • Oct 27 2019 - 15:56
  • The guy is a total idiot, sorry. He admitted he saw the crash and decided to crack on anyway. No-one is bigger than the sport, and no-one should be taking risks with other people's lives. He deserves the deduction and frankly he was lucky it stopped at that. I though Max had matured a lot in the last year, maybe I was wrong. Zero sympathy.

    • + 3
    • Oct 27 2019 - 08:40
    • TheDentist

      Posts: 19

      Agree with you totally! He’s showed everyone he’s still a immature kid. Bottas could have been severely hurt and Verstappen didn’t care at all.

      • + 3
      • Oct 27 2019 - 10:12

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