Verstappen escapes penalties for impeding in nightmare qualifying
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Verstappen faced an investigation after qualifying for three separate offences in a nightmare session for the Red Bull driver where he only managed 11th on the grid.The reigning world champion has been handed two reprimands, while no action was taken by the FIA for the Logan Sargeant incident.Grand Prix Foundations: Street Tracks in F1Video of Grand Prix Foundations: Street Tracks in F1The first reprimand was awarded for unnecessarily impeding in the pit lane.Verstappen slowed when exiting the pit lane despite the green light being displayed, blocking anyone from exiting.The stewards noted that Verstappen waited for “approximately 14 seconds” in order to create a gap in front to avoid traffic.The FIA explained that while “no obvious advantage was gained by the driver waiting in the pit exit for what is deemed to be an extraordinary long time, the potential for this to negatively impact other drivers warrants a penalty”.They concluded: “The stewards determine that car 1 breached Article 37.5 of the Sporting Regulations and hence a penalty of a peprimand is appropriate.”Related Perez puts Q2 spin down to “under delivery from the engine” in Singapore Russell reveals key Mercedes advantage to ‘force Ferrari into an error’The second reprimand was awarded after Verstappen alleged to have blocked Yuki Tsunoda on a fast lap.The stewards explained: “The team admitted that there was poor communication on its part and that it did not advise its driver until Car 22 was alongside. The stewards reviewed a number of impeding and alleged impeding incident 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.”
Finally, Verstappen received no punishment for the Sargeant incident after the stewards concluded that “the driver of Car 2 stated that he did not believe that the driver of Car 1 was at fault and that there was room for him to pass. We therefore determine that the driver of Car 1 did not unnecessarily impede Car 2.”Verstappen labels Singapore qualifying “a shocking experience”, rules out podiumThus, Verstappen will look to win his 11th consecutive race from P11 on the grid, two places ahead of teammate Sergio Perez.In terms of other incidents that were investigated, Sargeant was also given a reprimand for blocking Lance Stroll in Q1.Williams were also fined for failing to inform him of an approaching driver.
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