Published On: Sun, Oct 27th, 2019

Max Verstappen stripped of Mexican GP pole – F1 stewards explain why | F1 | Sport

Max Verstapen set the fastest lap during the third stage of qualifying at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, however, he has been penalised for failing to slow under yellow flags following Valtteri Bottas’ crash.

The 22-year-old Dutchman was behind Bottas when the Finn ran wide and smashed his car into the wall.

Verstapen, passed one yellow flag, as he went on to set a personal best in the final sector and also improved on his initial leading lap time.

Following an investigation by F1 stewards, Verstappen was then handed a three-place grid penalty and also had two points added to his licence.

Explaining their decision, the stewards said they felt the Red Bull driver had “attempted to set a meaningful lap time and failed to reduce his speed in the relevant marshalling sector.”

The stewards came to their decision after speaking to Verstappen and reviewing video, audio and telemetry evidence from Q3.

“[Verstappen] admitted that he was aware that car 77 [Bottas] crashed and did see the car on the left hand side of the track, but was not aware of the waved yellow flag,” the stewards added.

“He also admitted not reducing his speed on the yellow sector.

“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 [Vettel] reduced the speed significantly as per the regulations.”

The three-place grid penalty means Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc has been promoted to pole, with his team-mate Sebastian Vettel now in second place.

Lewis Hamilton is in third, with Verstappen now starting the race in fourth, one place ahead of his Red Bull team-mate Alexander Albon.

Before Bottas crashed he recorded a good enough time to place him in sixth on the grid, however, Mercedes are now evaluating the full extent of the damage to his car.

“The car is extensively damaged,” said a Mercedes spokesperson.

“We are assessing exactly what work needs to be completed for it to be ready to race.”

Following the crash Bottas visited the circuit’s medical centre for checks and afterwards the Silver Arrows confirmed he was “all okay”.

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