Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Hungaroring, 2018

No penalty for Verstappen over Grosjean incident

2018 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen has been cleared of impeding Romain Grosjean during qualifying.

The stewards decided to take no action against the Red Bull driver after ruling he did not “unnecessarily impeded” Grosjean.

Stewards’ decision

The Stewards examined video and audio evidence of the incident. The Stewards heard from Max Verstappen, the driver of car 33, Romain Grosjean, the driver of car 8 and the team representatives.

Verstappen was on a fast lap but then caught Gasly early in the lap. He then aborted the lap. Grosjean who was on a fast lap, was catching Verstappen. He was six seconds behind at Turn 11 and four seconds behind at Turn 13. Verstappen was close to Gasly going into Turn 13. At this point Gasly set up for his flying lap and Verstappen in turn slowed to get a gap. Grosjean caught Verstappen between Turn 13 and Turn 14 which impeded Grosjean.

While Verstappen was given reasonable, if slightly delayed information by his team, the Stewards took into account that with the very wet conditions, there was limited visibility ahead, and no visibility behind the drivers. The gaps between Gasly, Verstappen and Grosjean changed over a very short section of the track, and under the conditions the Stewards determined that the impeding was not, as the rule states, “unnecessary impeding” and therefore take no further action.

Competitors are reminded that they have the right to appeal the decisions of the Stewards (with the exception of those referred to in Article 12.2.4 of the FIA International Sporting Code), in accordance with Article 15 of the FIA International Sporting Code and Article 9.1.1 of the FIA Judicial and Disciplinary Rules, within the applicable time limits.

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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  • 21 comments on “No penalty for Verstappen over Grosjean incident”

    1. Man… By the looks of it, it was a clear, clear block. Max was trying to open up a gap and Grosjean was coming right behind him… But i guess the stewards have their reason!

      1. https://streamable.com/fasgi

        Was the right decision. Gro could easily finish the lap.

        1. But it’s not about that, is it?!

          1. It is. Video starts at turn 13.

            1. Hhhhh, bc “Gro could finish the lap”, it’s the right decision? Does this guy even got a brain??
              @mg1982 No need to bother with these orange clowns, they make up their own truth whenever Max is involved.

            2. Excuse me, I thought mg1982 meant that the video is from an other action. That’s why I gave a reaction.

              I find this rather insulting. Don’t treat people that have a different view like some someone with no brains. You’re not on topic with this reaction and only searching for something that isn’t there.

      2. @fer-no65

        The article clarifies the reason for the block, effectively Max was blocked and abandoned his lap, he couldn’t see anyone behind him due to the spray and made a gap which then In turn impeded Grosjean.

        Verstappen was on a fast lap but then caught Gasly early in the lap. He then aborted the lap. Grosjean who was on a fast lap, was catching Verstappen. He was six seconds behind at Turn 11 and four seconds behind at Turn 13. Verstappen was close to Gasly going into Turn 13. At this point Gasly set up for his flying lap and Verstappen in turn slowed to get a gap. Grosjean caught Verstappen between Turn 13 and Turn 14 which impeded Grosjean.

        1. VET couldn’t see SAI either, that did not save him from taking the penalty. It’s the team at fault for not warning their driver that another driver is close behind.

          1. @mg1982 per verstappen reasoning: rules are rules, they are agreed. he was shown blue flags, it is consistent so no excuse! no excuse whatsoever :)

          2. @9chris9, @mg1982 In the end the difference is that in this instance Verstappen was getting ready for his hot lap while Vettel (in Austria) was just playing with his steering wheel or something.

            First time i see them make this distinction, but it makes sense that when you are busy with your own hot lap you are not “unnecessary impeding”. As opposed to when a driver on the in-lap is impeding another driver would by definition be “unnecessary”.

            1. @patrickl

              Max’s fast lap was impeded by Gasly & he abandoned it. Max didn’t have much option other than to overtake Gasly at somepoint to get out of Grosjean way. It wasn’t deliberate and was a knock on effect of traffic ahead as Gasly slowed to make a gap, Max slowed to make a gap thereby impeding Grosjean. Maybe blame who was ahead of Gasly?

            2. @9chris9 Well whatever happened I think it makes sense that the stewards make the distinction between “unnecessary” impeding. Indeed Verstappen was impeded too and no one received a penalty for that either. That’s just what happens when cars close up on each other while doing their hot laps.

              Anyway, this is clearly a completely different situation from Austria where Vettel was on his in-lap and he was simply in the way, because he was not paying attention.

              It does set a bit of a precedent though. Teams could abuse this ruling to impede drivers without penalty.

        2. @9chris9 it was not published at the time of my post, btw

          1. @fer-no65

            So this article was amended to include the text I copied and the explanation from fia/fom after your post?

            1. @9chris9 yup, the stewards explanation wasnt included. It was later updated.

    2. As the teams have GPS, know exactly where all the cars are on the track and can relay that info to the driver, the stewards decision sounds very weak. If MV’s radio was out I could understand a penalty not being given, but he clearly impeded Grosjean whether intentional or not.

      1. What’s that word that kids like nowadays? Consistency is it?

        Well starting behind Gasly is penalty enough for RB

        1. Max starting behind Grosjean would be both consistent and penalty enough.

      2. @velocityboy It sounds weak because you are misinterpreting their decision. This is not about intentional, but about unnecessary or not.

        Verstappen was also getting ready for a hot lap. He was impeded the first try and then he set up for another attempt. How can that ever be “unnecessary” impeding?

        “Unnecessary” would be when a driver is on his in-lap or when he’s half way through his out lap. Indeed then they should stay out of the way. When a driver is on his own hot lap, or just starting his hot lap, it’s just tough luck for the driver being impeded.

        Just like Verstappen had his hot lap impeded and no one was penalized for that, because that impeding was also not deemed “unnecessary”.

    3. If Verstappen couldn’t see in the mirrors, he should have driven off the the racing line and let the pilots behind him overtake without slow down. Rules should be the same, whatever the colour of your car.

      1. Verstappen was starting a hot lap.

    Comments are closed.