Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Shanghai International Circuit, 2018

Verstappen and Gasly given penalty points for crashes

2018 Chinese Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly were both given penalty points on their licences for the collisions they were involved in during the Chinese Grand Prix.

Gasly was given the first two penalty points on his licence while Verstappen’s moves him onto a total of five for the current 12-month period. The stewards determined both drivers were predominantly to blame for the collisions.

Gasly tangled with team mate Brendon Hartley at turn 14 while Verstappen ran into Sebastian Vettel at the same corner.

This article will be updated.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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75 comments on “Verstappen and Gasly given penalty points for crashes”

  1. And rightly so. Such weird incidents, were they hopeless overtaking moves or just mistakes, misjudged braking? Either way both had a massive impact on the race.

    1. @hahostolze – I would particularly like to hear from Toro Rosso what was going on – was that a position swap, or a driver error by Hartley combined with an error of judgement by Gasly, or something else. That was definitely a peculiar one.

      1. GtisBetter (@)
        15th April 2018, 9:11

        Gasly said that he though hartley was making room for him. Maybe he was to eager or a communication error.

        1. Cheers @passingisoverrated

          Hang on. With that username, you should get a job as a pit-stop strategist :-)

      2. @phylyp, according to Gasly, Toro Rosso had told him that Hartley was going to let him through in Turn 14, which both the team and the drivers had agreed would be the easiest spot to let the trailing car through if they were switching positions.

        Unfortunately, there seems to have been a bit of a mix up in the instruction – Gasly thought that Hartley was going to let him through on the entry into the corner, whilst Hartley thought that he was meant to let Gasly through on the exit of the corner (which was the way that he had let Gasly through during the previous stint). It seems that Gasly went for that move expecting Hartley to get out of his way, which Hartley was not expecting, which was why they ended up colliding in the middle.

    2. Misjudged braking isn’t a valid reason for these incidents. If a driver misjudges his braking he should go wide, not aim for the apex occupied by somebody else. This isn’t a video game

      1. Not saying it would be a valid reason

        1. I know :) I just wanted to make that point

      2. Exactly. These guys cannot be taken seriously. Another reason, in VET vs VER case too, was that the driver in front closed the door suddenly. too much etc. The penultimate corner is more like a hairpin, so it’s obvious the cars in front will change direction suddenly in 1 split of a second at 1 moment.

  2. Michael Brown (@)
    15th April 2018, 9:09

    Since a Red Bull crashed into Vettel in China, will they replace Verstappen for the next race?

    1. Only if Verstappen hits Vettel in Baku as well.

      1. @klon Sounds familiar XD

    2. I hope so he needs teaching an overdue lesson.

  3. Crashtappen strikes back. A drive-through penalty would’ve been a better penalty in his case.

    1. Agree! 10 seconds was definitely not appropriate.

    2. Was thinking it was a drive thru also…

    3. Uh oh… does little Verstappen need a website?…

  4. I’d love to hear what the argument of people who opposed the penalty. Both incidents has a very clear cut on where the blame goes to.

  5. So Verstappen crashes into Vettel, which causes:
    – Lewis lost a place to Kimi
    – Seb loses chunks of points in the championship
    – 10 second penalty.

    Penalty points are fair.

    1. Yes, I like the idea of penalty points, since you carry your transgressions for some time, and if you’re consistently erring, they will accure and come back to bite you.

      Although I wonder if they are a little too mild (the accrual rules), since I don’t think anyone has actually been penalized for accumulating too many penalty points.

      1. I disagree – while it’d be exciting to see a driver banned, especially at one of the top teams, 12 points makes perfect sense. We don’t want to discourage drivers going for a move and if you accrue 12 points, you’ve truly been shoddy over the year and deserve the ban.

        1. That’s a fair argument, @ben-n

      2. @phylyp The idea is solid, but the implementation is kinda weird. 12 point limit is fine, but I’d say Max maybe should be given 3 and Vettel in Baku definitely should given a lot more based on the severity of their transgressions. But then again, some silly driver error that disadvantages no one could also given big penalty points.

        1. Agree that VET in Baku last year was horrible, yet in the end his “antics” didn’t change/alter 1 thing in the champ standings. Even so, it would have been a battle between the 2 contenders. We have to look more at the consequences if you ask me. You cannot punish more the guy who was a witness at a murder than the actual criminal! So, even tho at Baku it was a reprobable moment indeed… nothing happened in the end, in this case VER’s actions CHANGED for real somehow the points situation… which might be decisive when awarding the WDC. GRO’s case from 2012 is the perfect situation, it really costed ALO that champ. I find it really bad when a 3rd party changes the winner of the champ(s). So, at first sight what VET did in Baku seems a lot more worse than VER actions, yet in the end only VER actions had/have a real impact on the champ situation. I reckon I cannot decide which one is worse, but I tend to find more dangerous the dog who bites (VER) rather than the one who just barks (VET).

          1. @mg1982 I don’t agree that Vettel in Baku is witness at a murder. In F1 transgression scale, if what Verstappen did this time is equal murder, what Vettel did is probably a rogue general assassinating the president, and the president survived because a movie hero foil the plan in time or something (it’s down to luck none of the cars actually damaged by the collision). That’s why so many people actually want an instant ban because it’s that severe and unheard of before (at least Senna and Schumacher ram their cars in race condition not under SC). As for not changing affecting the WDC fight, this is equivalent to the social standing of the victim. A high ranking politician/businessman get away scot free with murder while common people get maximum jail time. It’s probably has lesser impact to society / the championship battle but it means the law is not impartial.

    2. Verstappen has this time accepted responsibility and was shown speaking amicably with Vettel. The sad thing is Vettel was just going to let Verstappen by, as he did with Ricciardo (he could see their pace was so much quicker than his).

      Raikkonen had already made the pass on Hamilton on the approach to the incident and would have been passed pretty soon after, even if he hadn’t…

      1. Max is always realistic after the race. It’s just that some people will not believe that

        1. No, he’s not. He has blamed others on several occasions, where in fact he was to blame.

      2. I correct myself, just seen another replay and Raikkonen still was behind Hamilton, but, I am still pretty sure that the pass would have happened pretty soon after…

        1. Really hard to believe that.

  6. wow, what a great interview Vettel did after the race, he was absolutely calm and collected and fair. Loved his maturity compared to other seasons.

    1. Yes indeed i was shocked. Was sitting there with my popcorn haha. And indeed Horner must stop using excuses that he is young.

    2. Vettel did give a calm and collected interview….but watch the body language, his eyes told a different story……

      1. @jop452 Lol, so drivers are now going to have body language coaches, just in case someone, somewhere thinks they said something else with it.

    3. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      16th April 2018, 19:00

      true he was unusually calm but I think his calm was slightly tamed by a few factors:

      1. Red Bull won the race over Mercedes – I would suspect he must feel slightly better when Red Bull wins
      2. Verstappen was penalized (very lenient penalty but still a penalty)
      3. Verstappen didn’t win – I think he would have been incensed had that been the case
      4. Verstappen apologized to him
      5. He still managed to get points and stay ahead of Lewis and Kimi got in front of him.
      6. Ferrari engine is beating Mercedes across all teams and Renault engines look better than most Mercedes engines save for the works team.

      Despite the fact that Ferrari are trailing in the WCC by 1 point, I’d say it was still a pretty good weekend for Ferrari and Vettel.

  7. These penalty points are meaningless, it’s almost impossible to ever get a race ban through thí system. If Vettel’s Baku 2017 debacle couldn’t bring about a race ban, normal collision penalties would never accumulate enough to 12.

    If what Gasly and Verstappen did was only deserving on 2 penalty points, a driver would need to cause a collision 6 races per year to get a race ban. If you’re causing collisions in 6 races per year, you simply do not deserve to be driving in F1.

    1. Already caused a collision in two races and spun off the track in a third.

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      16th April 2018, 20:08

      @ducpham2708 COTD for sure!

  8. Everyone talks about the VER-VET incident, but it starts with HAM pushing VER wide. If HAM was on damage limitation mode, he should have let VER through and not push him off. From a team perspective, better for MERC.

    1. A well-deserved win by Daniel Ricciardo! But will someone P-L-E-A-S-E tell Mad Max that 2 into 1 doesn’t go! 2 suicide runs today almost compromising Hamilton’s race and ruining Vettel’s @#$%&!

    2. Max shouldn’t have been there in the 1st place

    3. Two totally unconnected incidents.

    4. Hamilton did nothing wrong. He kind of pushing his elbow there but there is still room available. Max just caught off-guard and over reacted on counter steering that he goes to the dirt. If Hamilton really pushed him, the stewards will at least investigate it like they did to Alonso vs Vettel incident.

      1. @sonicslv

        What if Verstappen had stayed close to Lewis and got hit?

        1. Pretty sure they’re not going to touch. Hamilton make a sudden jerk but he’s in front and the jerk itself is not wide, still leaving lot of room. If you go battle with someone, especially prepared to go side-by-side you must able to anticipate the movement of the one who has inside line. Many drivers showed ability to fight side-by-side. Max just caught surprised there and overreacted.

    5. Mickey's Miniature Grandpa
      15th April 2018, 10:10

      I blame amino acids coming together in a puddle of primordial goo. If that hadn’t happened, Verstappen wouldn’t have been on the outside of Hamilton.

    6. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      16th April 2018, 19:22

      Hamilton wasn’t on damage limitation mode. He was in pace limitation mode with the wrong strategy and 2 drivers behind him with the right strategy.

      First of all, Lewis didn’t push Max, he just feinted very quickly – Max instinctively reacted and drove the car off the road because he made too large a correction on a corner – Max had plenty of space to stay on track.

      Lewis did let Daniel and Max through (and Max the 2nd time). He obviously made a decision to defend against Max even though it was pointless to everyone on this forum and I think the technical term used to describe was rubbish.

      In the end, it was anything but pointless and rubbish. It got Mercedes the lead in the WCC, closed the gap in the WDC, gifted Daniel the victory over Max and got Max to second guess every move he’ll make around Lewis moving forward.

      But that’s what champions do – they figure out a way to make things happen when others would be lost. As long as your car is moving, you’re still in control of the race and you’re still fighting.

      Now you can view Lewis as a driver who made a bad call there – personally for me, it was nothing short of magic

      Yes,yes, I know – I’ve said it before :-)

  9. Michael Brown (@)
    15th April 2018, 9:44

    -A Red Bull driver collides with Vettel in the Chinese Grand Prix.
    -They collide with Vettel in the next race, causing him to retire.
    -Replace this Red Bull driver with a Toro Rosso driver.
    -He goes on to win the next race after both Mercedes take each other out.
    -Repeat this cycle every two years until Vettel retires from Formula One.

  10. Verstappen is plain crazy and one of these days his impulsive moves is going to cause a serious incident.

    1. Mickey's Miniature Grandpa
      15th April 2018, 10:07

      “Crazy” is a bit harsh I think. He does need to start driving with his head though. Key difference between Ricciardo and Verstappen today was Ricciardo showed judgement, spatial awareness and class and Verstappen… didn’t.

    2. @loup-garou

      As if Hamilton and Vettel trying to squeeze him on his fresher tyres, is going to help their cause for the title fight.

  11. I wouldn’t call Max “crazy”, but I’d rather say he made a serious error of judgement. His car was obviously rapid, and he sort of blew it by trying to overtake Lewis in perhaps one of the toughest corners on the circuit. He’s quick, but hopefully he can keep a level head. I really do want to see him do well.

  12. Golden boy gets away with a 10 second penalty, far too lenient based on his recent performances.

    Makes Maldonado look composed!

    1. They couldn’t very well give him a different penalty than the one already given for a virtually identical incident. You can certainly argue that the penalty was too soft, but if so, it was nothing to do with any golden boy, unless you were referring to Gasly as the golden boy.

      1. Both penalties were too lenient, drive throughs for both at minimum.

        But Verstappen has form, I don’t remember Gasly having a coming together recently, has he?

        1. Penalties awarded for an incident don’t – or, to use a better word, shouldn’t – be influenced by a driver’s past incidents. That’s why we have penalty points.

      2. Gasly is a rookie, VER isn’t. Also, it’s not Gasly the one who’s messing with the WDC outcome. If you find neglectable that the actions of a 3rd party may change the WDC winner… I don’t. I find that very bad and undesirable. I agree that the drivers shouldn’t be penalized so harsh that they’re afraid to overtake another car anymore, but letting them do what they want in order to win, trash others races as they please is not OK at all either. The desire to win fuelled the Crashgate and the Spygate too, doesn’t mean it’s right.

        1. DobbertRoornbos
          15th April 2018, 22:37

          As we saw today, RBR has the ability to win races. They’ve won more races than the reigning WCC so far this season. If Max didn’t screw up, it might have been a double podium: RBR SHOULD be messing with the wdc outcome.
          Don’t get me wrong: Max messed up and needs to get his act together, but he has as much right to try to win as anyone else on the track.

        2. A penalty shouldn’t be dependent on whether or not a WDC championship is involved. In both cases it should be the same since the crime (causing s collision) is the same.

      3. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        16th April 2018, 20:02

        Well, the incident with Gasly and Hartley was an intra-team incident – usually they are much more lenient because if they penalize both drivers, they are essentially double penalizing them since they already had hurt themselves.

        The incident between Max and Seb was between 2 different teams with huge implications and with a driver who had a prior questionable incident in the previous race.

        Too lenient imo – it would have helped Max to have a stiffer penalty. He has to learn from mistakes and penalties help…

  13. Vettel fan 17 (@)
    15th April 2018, 10:24

    I think both should have got a drive through and three penalty points. Gasly was a good bit behind Hartley, and just locked up and drove into him, there was never a gap. Hartley never closed the door because it was never really open, he just took the racing line.

    Verstappen on Vettel was just stupid. He had a chance to pass but didn’t until the chance was gone. Vettel left him some space, but began to close the door since Verstappen didn’t try and make the move. Then he he just drove into the side of the Ferrari.

    The fact that drivers get 10 second penalty for these incidents but get a 10 second stop gos for overtaking on the formation lap (which didn’t even led to any change on the starting grid) is stupid in my opinion.

    1. Both Hartley and Vettel went wide in that corner leaving a gap and then (suddenly) turn in.
      The normal line in that corner is at the inside both which Gasly and Verstappen went into trying to overtake (where Verstappen went also too wide touching Vettel).
      So yeah, both Verstappen and Gasly were at fault, and thus should receive a penalty if only because the driver in front has the right to the corner and the driver behind should anticipate this.

      But if both Hartley and Vettel would have taken the normal racing line these crashes never would have happened.

  14. Verstappen looked rattled from when Lewis stabbed at him sending him on the dirt and Riccairdo got by. He should have held his ground and give Lewis the collision he was looking for. Needs to watch some old Schumacher races.

    1. @BigJoe That’s not what happened there. Max tried to take Lewis on the outside, got loose on the marbles and had to correct. Lewis just held the racing line, in fact a little tighter than the norm.

      1. Michael Brown (@)
        15th April 2018, 14:39

        @psynrg Hamilton left the racing line, which was something Verstappen didn’t expect. He had to go off the track to avoid him.

      2. @psynrg

        Im talking about today’s race not sure which race you’re on about

        watch from 3.35. It looks like Hamilton swerved over twice as well. Verstappen went from steering left to sudden 180 degrees right to avoid Lewis’s swerve


        1. @bigjoe I just see that as Max wanting a tighter line, staying close Hamilton, but losing the rear. The 180 degree twitch right is to catch the car (a good catch indeed).

          You don’t jink 180 degrees for any other reason.

  15. In case of collision the punishment should be according to how much that collision affects the other driver. Not only VER distanced itself more than 10 seconds from VET (rendering the punishment useless), but it compromised VET race by making him lose 2 places during the incident (HAM, RAI) and 2 more because of the excesive tire wear trying to recover from the incident (HUL, ALO).

  16. No arguments from me – reasonable and deserved in both cases.

    And the 10-second time penalties are also right too, I think, at least when compared to other incidents. The stewards should never, in normal racing circumstances, fall into the trap of giving a driver a harsher penalty because his actions impacted on the fortunes of a title contender.

  17. Incredible that drivers are punished so harshly for circumstances beyond their control yet so little for incidents when they’re completely at fault.

    Verstappen and Gasly more or less got away with destroying Vettel’s and Hartley’s races.

  18. It was a very sudden move and I think that made it unsafe. Of course Max had to react fast. Also, so what that Hamilton was ahead? It looked like Max was 50% alongside and that’s all you need. Maybe Hamilton still had the right to defend when he started the maneuver, but again, a sudden jerk like that is not safe. And generally Hamilton does not get flagged for unfair defending. Never did when he pushed Rosberg off the track. Not a single time.

  19. I got angry after the collision happened

  20. @psynrg Um, Hamilton clearly jerked right, no one is disputing that.

    Also, if Verstappen really lost the rear, then his front wing should have rotated left right into Hamilton. Instead, Verstappen’s car moved over to the right. That’s because he was forced to steer to the right

    1. Mickey's Miniature Grandpa
      16th April 2018, 8:30

      Hamilton clearly did nothing but follow the normal racing line for that corner, which does not involve jerking right but merely allowing the car to move towards the middle of the track as with any double-apex. That same racing line was taken by every driver, every lap. There was plenty of room for Verstappen to keep to the line he’d chosen around the outside; he merely bottled it as Hamilton approached the widest point of that racing line and frightened himself off the track.

      As for Verstappen’s maturity… hm. Probably doesn’t really apply to this incident; if anything he was over-cautious there. The incident with Vettel though is another story. But then, Hamilton was still making similarly fumbled overtaking attempts in 2011, was it? Particularly on Felipe Massa. Four years into his F1 career. One might have said back then that he hadn’t developed or grown as a driver since his first season and lamented the potential detrimental effect on his results. He got over it, started driving with his head and became a four time world champion, no reason to believe Verstappen can’t do the same, ideally without losing any of the qualities that make him a star attraction.

      1. I agree, it’s all about maturing.

        But still, looking at the limited footage of that Hamilton-Verstappen encounter, Hamilton’s move seems just way too sudden, and Max has no way of knowing what Hamilton’s intentions are, and where he is going to stop. And maybe they would have made contact if he didn’t react at all.

        Even if you are right about the racing line, Max was way too alongside Hamilton for such a sudden “realignment”. And you do bring up an interesting point. But it really looks like Hamilton goes right a little too deep in the highlights video, and actually seems to pass too far from the second apex

        Don’t know what the guy is saying, but it’s a good spot to pause the footage.

        I found an onboard from Hamilton’s 2017 pole lap, and he seems to stick tighter to the second apex, letting the car drift away seemingly less (asfaik there is no onboard of Hamilton from the Max incident). But you can also see something else that’s interesting – if you play the highlights video, right after Max jerks right (3:40-3:41 for me, and right before Hamilton’s right wheel hides behind the leaderboard on the left side of the screen, there seems to be a very significant steering action of the wheel to the left, which I did not see on his 2017 pole lap at the same spot or anywhere around that second apex. And that could mean he was too far out to the right.

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