Verstappen handed a reprimand for impeding incedents during qualifying

Verstappen handed a reprimand for impeding incedents during qualifying

Following Max Verstappen’s dismal qualifying performance in Singapore, the stewards have issued their verdicts over three separate investigations involving the Red Bull driver.

Max Verstappen’s evening turned much worse after three different incidences of alleged impeding, along with failing to qualify for the Q3 round for the first time this season as Red Bull experienced a miserable qualifying session at Marina Bay.

The reigning world champion was summoned before the stewards for impeding Williams, Logan Sargeant, AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda, and another similar incident impeding the movement of cars in the pitlane during exit.

The stewards issued the double World Champion his first reprimand of the year for the pitlane obstruction incident, in which Verstappen had stopped at the green signal and held up many drivers behind him, including both Mercedes drivers and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

“The Stewards heard from the driver of Max Verstappen, team representative, and reviewed positioning/marshaling system data, video, timing, and team radio,” read the statement from the F1 stewards.

“Verstappen stated that he waited (approximately 14 seconds) to leave the Pit Exit in order to create a gap to the cars in front.”

A Red Bull spokesperson claimed that his gap had been wiped out by Turn 5 as a result of slower traffic on the out lap, while Verstappen’s rival extended his lead to 12 seconds.

“Whilst no obvious advantage was gained by the driver in waiting at the Pit Exit for what is deemed to be an extraordinarily long time, the potential for this to negatively impact other drivers warrants a penalty.

“Whilst it is noted that the car behind could have overtaken Verstappen, it is preferable that cars depart the pit exit in an orderly manner.

“The stewards determine that [Verstappen] breached Article 37.5 of the Sporting Regulations and hence a penalty of a Reprimand is appropriate.”

Verstappen received his second reprimand this season for impeding Yuki Tsunoda during Q2, and Red Bull was fined €5000 for failing to alert Verstappen on Tsunoda’s approach.

“Just prior to Tsunoda passing Verstappen, he saw the car behind approaching and moved to the left, however quite late,” said the stewards. “The team admitted that there was poor communication on its part and that it did not advise its driver until Tsunoda was alongside.

“The Stewards reviewed a number of impeding and alleged impeding incidents from this current season and consistent with previous decisions in relation to the severity of the breach, impose a penalty of a Reprimand on the driver and a fine on the Competitor.

“It was noted that the representative of Car 22 chose not to attend the Hearing.”

The stewards decided against reprimanding Verstappen for allegedly impeding Sargeant, after the AlphaTauri driver defended the Dutch driver during the stewards’ hearing.

“Verstappen stated that he was surrounded by many other cars on preparation laps, some of which chose to overtake him on the left and some on the right,” read the FIA ruling.

“And therefore he decided the safest option was for him to drive straight and keep the line, leaving a car width on his right.

“He stated he felt any movement to the left or right could have caused a collision with one of the cars around him.

“The Stewards accept these statements.

“Sargeant stated that he did not believe that Verstappen was at fault and that there was room for him to pass.

“We therefore determine that [Verstappen] did not unnecessarily impede Sargeant.”

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