FIA make Max Verstappen penalty decision after three Singapore incidents noted

The stewards have revealed the outcome of their investigations into Max Verstappen after the Red Bull star was caught up in a messy qualifying session, determining that none of the incidents were worth a grid penalty for the Singapore Grand Prix. That means he will start P11 for Sunday’s race and no lower.

The Dutchman was placed under investigation for three separate incidents during the session, one of which occurred in the pit lane with the other two taking place out on track.

Verstappen was first accused of impeding multiple drivers when he stopped at the end of the pit lane in Q1, forcing the likes of George Russell and Charles Leclerc to wait to head out on track and produce their laps.

The reigning world champion then impeded Williams driver Logan Sargeant at turn 17 as the American rookie was attempting to make it out of the final part of qualifying.

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Finally, Verstappen was accused of impeding Yuki Tsunoda. The Japanese talent was navigating the first sector of his flying lap in Q2 when he came across the Dutchman on the racing line at the exit of turn three, prompting a furious reaction from the AlphaTauri man. 

Speaking to Sky Sports F1 about his miserable qualifying, Verstappen said: “I knew it would always be tough to put it on pole. But this I didn’t expect. Throughout the weekend we have been struggling.

“FP3 was actually not too bad but then we tried a few more things on the car for qualifying and that tipped it over where it became undrivable again. The car was massively bottoming out in the big braking zones, all the time if I wanted to brake late and hard, my front wheels were getting unloaded.

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“It’s just a shocking experience and then trying to lean on the car in the slow-speed [corners], I was constantly sliding and no traction, just really difficult to drive.”

Even without the influence of penalties, Verstappen was eliminated during Q2 on pace after stand-in rookie Liam Lawson produced the best lap of his blossoming F1 career to dump the two-time world champion out of qualifying.

Red Bull’s misery didn’t end with Verstappen’s struggles either. Team-mate Sergio Perez will also start the Singapore Grand Prix from outside of the top 10 after he suffered a spin on his final Q2 hot lap. 

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