Max Verstappen has dodged a post-race penalty for his clash with Charles Leclerc which sees the Red Bull driver keep his victory at the Austrian Grand Prix.

Both drivers were put under investigation following their collision while fighting for victory in Austria which saw the Red Bull driver come out on top with a dramatic late overtake.

The Dutch driver charged through the Formula 1 front-runners after a disaster opening lap and reeled in pole-sitter Leclerc with four laps to go at the Red Bull Ring.

Having sized up a move at Turn 3 one lap earlier, Verstappen dived up the inside of Leclerc at the hairpin with three laps to go which saw the pair bash wheels at the apex. The collision forced the Ferrari driver go over the kerbs and off track to concede the lead to his Red Bull rival.

The incident was instantly put under investigation by the FIA race stewards, with Verstappen provisionally winning the race by 2.7 seconds ahead of Leclerc at the chequered flag.

With the FIA investigation taking place at 1800 local time, the stewards reviewed onboard videos and telemetry evidence from both cars.

Almost two hours after the hearing started the stewards saw the clash as a racing incident and didn’t feel Verstappen pushed Leclerc off the track, meaning the Dutch driver has avoided a post-race penalty and duly keeps his victory in Austria.

"Car 33 [Verstappen] sought to overtake car 16 [Leclerc] at Turn 3 on lap 69 by out-braking car 16," an FIA statement read. "When doing so, car 33 was alongside car 16 on the entry of the corner and was in full control of the car while attempting the overtaking move on the inside of car 16. However, both car 33 and car 16 proceeded to negotiate the corner alongside each other but there was clearly insufficient space for both cars to do so.

"Shortly after the late apex, while exiting the corner, there was contact between the two cars. In the totality of the circumstances, we did not consider that either driver was wholly or predominantly to blame for the incident. We consider that this is a racing incident."

 

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