Max Verstappen has been stripped of pole position for the Mexican Grand Prix after being penalised for failing to slow for yellow flags at the end of qualifying.

Verstappen initially scored his second Formula 1 pole after topping qualifying at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, but faced scrutiny after setting his fastest lap despite passing through a yellow flag shown for Valtteri Bottas’ crash.

The FIA initially claimed its data showed Verstappen had lifted through the mini-sector, clearing him of any wrong-doing, only for Verstappen himself to claim in the post-qualifying press conference that he did not slow down.

The stewards launched an investigation following Verstappen’s comments, and met with the Red Bull driver at 16:10 local time in Mexico.

A bulletin was issued by the FIA later on Saturday evening announcing that Verstappen had been hit with a three-place grid penalty for failing to slow for yellow flags, breaching the FIA’s International Sporting Code.

"Driver of Car 33 admitted that he was aware that car 77 (Valtteri Bottas) crashed and did see the car on the left hand side of the track, but was not aware of the waved yellow flag. He also admitted not reducing his speed on the yellow sector," the stewards' ruling reads.

"The Stewards noted from the on board images of Car 33, that the waved yellow flag was clearly visible and was shown with enough notice. The previous driver (Car 5) reduced the speed significantly as per the regulations.

"Taking into account all the available evidence and the statement from the driver the Stewards impose a drop of 3 grid positions at the driver’s next race and 2 penalty points."

As a result, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc will now start on pole position in Mexico, with teammate Sebastian Vettel joining him on the front row of the grid.

It marks Ferrari’s sixth straight pole position, its streak dating back to qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix at the end of August. It is also Leclerc's seventh pole of the year.

Lewis Hamilton moves up to third for Mercedes, with Verstappen now set to start the race from fourth place on the grid for Red Bull as a result of the stewards' ruling.

The Mexican Grand Prix gets underway at 1910 GMT on Sunday (1310 local time).

 

Comments

Loading Comments...