Verstappen penalised for qualifying infringement

Verstappen penalised for qualifying infringement

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The Red Bull driver was already last on the provisional starting grid for the Sochi race, having taken new engine components and a fresh gearbox this weekend.

However, he has been given another three-place grid penalty and two licence penalty points for failing to slow down for yellow flags when Sergey Sirotkin spun his Williams in Q1.

The verdict from the stewards said: “The driver admitted seeing the yellow flag and stated that he steered to the left to avoid the stationary car.

“However, the regulation is very clear and states ‘it must be evident that a driver has reduced speed’.

“The telemetry shows that the driver maintained full throttle and did not apply any braking.

“In his defence the driver expressed the view that he felt he had acted safely.”

The stewards added that Verstappen accepted their take on the situation.

“[We] noted that the driver understood the error in not slowing and acknowledged that in future he will comply with the regulations.

“However in view of the emphasis now placed on compliance with yellow flag regulations, in the interests of safety, the stewards have applied the usual penalty for this offence.”

Verstappen’s running total of licence penalty points is now up to seven, which puts him five short of the 12 that trigger a race ban.

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