Verstappen keeps pole after stewards clear him of impeding

Verstappen keeps pole after stewards clear him of impeding

Following a review by the stewards Max Verstappen was able to keep his pole position for the Austrian Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen was summoned by the stewards for impeding Kevin Magnussen in Q1 as he claimed pole position.

The reigning world champion, who secured pole position for the fourth time in a row during today’s qualifying session was summoned before the stewards for an incident in Q1 in which he seemed to be impeding Kevin Magnussen’s Haas.

The stewards, however, chose not to intervene after consulting with both drivers and analyzing event data.

There were little over six minutes left in Q1 when the incident happened. After setting the fastest time of the session up to that moment, Verstappen had just started his second consecutive cool-down lap. He slowed down as he entered the first turn and kept to the curb while exiting the turn while staying in the racing line on the left side of the track.

Verstappen’s rival Magnussen was starting a push lap behind him. Magnussen was given a white flag on his approach to turn one, signalling that a car ahead was substantially off the pace, owing to the Red Bull’s slower speed.

On the way out of the first corner, the Haas driver approached the Red Bull forcing Verstappen to move further to the left in an effort to make room for Magnussen, who sped past him on the right.

Magnussen confirmed over the team radio, “Max Verstappen was completely in the way.”

Magnussen continued to complete his lap, posting a personal best time that at the time put him up to ninth place from 14th, however his lap was subsequently deleted for violating track limits at the last turn.

The stewards weren’t in agreement with Magnussen’s claim that he lost time dodging Verstappen due to having clipped a curb as he turned out of the turn.

The statement from the stewards read: “The driver of car one [Verstappen] stated that he saw a car approaching after he crossed the line at the end of his push lap and moved to the left of the track after the exit of turn one.

“The driver of car 20 [Magnussen] stated that he had to move to the right to avoid car one and hence lost time on his fast lap.

“The stewards determined from the video (and audio) evidence that car 20 had clipped the kerb in turn one and that this subsequently caused a slight change in acceleration which in turn resulted in a slightly slower time on the next mini sectors. The stewards further determined that car 20 did not have to take significant evasive action.

“The fact that the lap time of car 20 was subsequently deleted (due to exceeding track limits at turn 10) was irrelevant to this decision. Any incident is always investigated independently of other incidents or penalties.”

Verstappen probably would have lost the pole if he had been fined. At the Canadian Grand Prix two weeks ago, four drivers received three-place grid drops as a result of their impeding violations.

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