Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Sochi Autodrom, 2018

Verstappen given grid penalty for yellow flag infringement

2018 Russian Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen has been given a three-place grid penalty for failing to slow for yellow flags.

The stewards ruled Verstappen did not reduce his speed sufficiently for a single waved yellow flag at the end of Q2 after Sergey Sirotkin spun.

The Red Bull driver was also given two penalty points on his licence which moves him to a total of seven for the current 12-month period.

This is Vertappen’s third grid penalty of the weekend. He has already been sent to the back of the grid for a power unit change and received a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change.

Stewards’ verdict

The stewards reviewed video and telemetry evidence, heard from the driver of car 33 (Max Verstappen) and the team representative.

The driver admitted seeing the yellow flag and stated that he steered to the left to avoid the stationary car (number 35). However, the regulation is very clear and states ‘It must be evident that a driver has reduced speed’. The telemetry showed 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 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.

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.

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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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34 comments on “Verstappen given grid penalty for yellow flag infringement”

  1. When you read the decision, it’s all pretty standard, well-explained, due process and fair. But when you read the decision, in no way does it feel serious enough to warrant two penalty points, especially compared to other offenses that get similar points. Still a system that needs some finetuning, I think.

    1. The thing is, a yellow flag could have been for something much worse. And in the same situation (desperate to try and finish his lap despite yellow flags), If Verstappen came round a corner full speed blind to what could be on track. Say a car had spun and didn’t go off track? That could have gone seriously wrong. The penalty is because it is wrong and potentially could have been much worse. Just because nothing serious happened doesn’t mean the penalty should be less harsh. This sort of penalty should discourage drivers from not slowing down enough during yellow flags. Verstappen should have learnt this from Spain when he hit Stroll. Yellow flags mean you should drive carefully and be prepared to stop. Hitting a moving car while he was in his sight in Spain was stupid enough. Hardly slowing down when he doesn’t know what exactly chould have caused the yellow flags is even more silly. The penalty is certainly serious enough to warrant what he got IMO.

      1. That would be a double waved yellow though.

        1. Yes, i did possibly take it a bit too far. But still, Verstappen made a mistake on both occasions I mentioned.

          1. No both situations are not comparable with what happened in Sochi. He was able to see Sirotkin ( so he know the cause of the single yellow flag) and the stroll incident was during a GREEN light situation
            see i.e

  2. He didn’t lift at all for a spun car on the track.
    2 penalty points, and a meaningless grid penalty is fairly lenient if you ask me.

  3. The right decision although this time it doesn’t have any real impact on him grid position-wise.

  4. My view: Max was unhappy that he was being outqualified by his team-mate and wasn’t going to let something as silly as yellow flags get in his way of putting that right.

    Just like he wasn’t going to let his 5-second penalty in Monza stop him from “beating” Bottas on track (even at the cost of actually beating Vettel on the timesheets!)

    No doubt Max is insanely talented but he really needs to learn some sense of perspective, as at the moment he’s damaging his real results to “win” in his own head.

    1. @hammerheadgb
      I think you hit the nail on the head by saying that he wasn’t going to let something as silly as yellow flags get in his way of trying to ‘outqualify’ RIC. He was down on his teammate after the first run, so while RIC came in like intended, Max did another run just to be able to say he was up against RIC. He knew darn well that they wouldn’t run in Q2, just like RIC has done done a couple of times earlier in the season. And all of these qualis where RIC had these back-to-the-grid-penalties, the oranges have counted them as ‘wins’ of their hero. Delusional.
      The quali-battle between them is heavily skewed. Throwing at us figures like there’s a delta of 0.75s between them and 12-3 or 13-2 or whatever, without taking the bad luck of his teammate into account. Very short memories also: Last year they were blaming the car for all of the underperforming of Max (while they had about the same amount of car trouble), yet now that RIC has almost a tenfold of the problems Max has had this season, they go in ‘cover up mode’.

      About the insanely talented comment: I wouldn’t say insanely skilled (I distinguish between skilled and talented), bc he doesn’t stand out among the others in top cars and Alonso, bar Bottas (Kimi is an age-related thing). I rate ALO and HAM certainly higher RIC also, given the results in their near 3 seasons together.
      None of them however withstands a comparison with MSCH.

      1. Krxx, I wish people would stop using the word ‘delusional’ all the time. It’s very disrespectful and we all are biased, you and me as well.

        No, the qualy-battle between Ricciardo and Verstappen is not heavily skewed. Ricciardo won the battle in Bahrain and Monaco (and rightfully so), even when he didn’t beat Verstappen on the track.

        So, rather than calling Max-fans delusional, we better should worry about Ricciardo’s qualy performance. Ricciardo, the driver that crushed Kvyat and Vergne in qualifying and even beat Vettel. What happened to him? Is it motivation, is it the car, the setup? Or is Max just that much better at it?

        On-topic: silly move by Verstappen. I wich drivers respected the yellow flag more.

        1. So, rather than calling Max-fans delusional, we better should worry about Ricciardo’s qualy performance. Ricciardo, the driver that crushed Kvyat and Vergne in qualifying and even beat Vettel. What happened to him? Is it motivation, is it the car, the setup? Or is Max just that much better at it?

          How about extremely optimistic, like your last sentence. :)

          1. @johnrkh, what do you mean? It’s a geniune question. I don’t state it as a fact that Max is better, it’s just one of the possibilities.

        2. @matthijs
          Why do you say the quali-battle is not heavily skewed? And btw, nice try: calling me biased in the same breath you call yourself biased (“I come in peace, me and you, we are equal” – hahahahaha), acknowledging RIC won in Bah and Mon yet at the same time saying he didn’t actually ‘beat’ him, shifting away the oranges-being-delusional-thing towards questioning RIC’s performance, starting from RIC’s motivation and car (so not necessarily downplaying his skills in comparison with your idol) to outright asking/saying/concluding that Max is that much better at it. Like I said, nice try, it might work in politics, but not with me.

          Awaiting your answer regarding my question, I’ll explain why the quali-figures are skewed. Officially I think the numbers are 13-2 this season. And the official average delta is over 0.5 sec. At the summer break it was even almost 0.8s IIRC (though there was also this statistic that showed RIC’s average quali-position was higher up on the grid than VER’s, but they chose to ignore that one, hahaha). The orange fans were eager to point towards that specific statistic, as if it were proof of their kinda-countryman’s dominance in F1.

          But let’s see how those figures came to be:
          The first 5 were pretty straightforward with Max leading RIC 3 to 2 (though the gap in Australia was unusual big with a delta of over 0.27 in Max’ favour). There was Bahrain where Max didn’t get through q2 bc he crashed his vehicle bc he “had a sudden surge of 50 extra HP” in q1, so trying to calculate a delta is pointless. I’m sure though that in some Max-FBoys’ book of stats this quali-battle was assigned a negative delta for Max, ie Max ‘won’ this battle by their ‘standards’, bc he did a faster lap in q1 than RIC.
          Next stop Monaco. The weekend RIC dominated the field, all of the sessions and race. Yet he doesn’t get awarded the win in quali. Bc Max crashed his car already in FP3 and couldn’t participate in quali. So officially this one remains 0-0, yet in practice it was like the equivalent of a KO. Your idol got evidently beaten on those two occasions, yet you still conclude with “.. even when he didn’t beat Verstappen on the track.” That’s delusional.

          Around this time there was some criticism directed at Max bc of the 7 or so costly, big mistakes. Now Max did make some changes in his approach, though he first denied he had to do so. But what were the orange FBoys saying after Mon? “Max doesn’t have to change ish, he’s just unlucky and the rest, especially his teammate, have been very lucky.” Delusional. Also, I said earlier that Max had been outperformed by his teammates in Monaco and provided data. The orange armada immediately jumped on that like some colony of bees protecting their queen, denying the data and even claiming the opposite. But funny enough, within a week or so, there was some article here in which Max was quoted he doesn’t like street circuits (he got beaten again in Baku too, in both quali and race) and doesn’t want to have a street circuit GP in the Netherlands bc of it. Again, delusional (the FBoys).

          The next three were VER-wins. Not much to it, bar the little controversy around the Austria-tow which set up Max’ lucky, only win.

          Then came Silverstone. Gap: 0.5 sec. Unusual big. Outlier. Explainable? Yes, in his fastest run (which wasn’t his last btw), his DRS malfunctioned. RIC got ‘lucky’ though, he started the race next to his teammate.

          Then you had Germany and Italy in which RIC had a penalty, very much like they both have now. What did Max do in q2 now? Stay put. RIC too. He didn’t drive, just like Max in Monaco. But these three quali-battles will go down, ‘officially’, as 2-0 in favour of Max, though the ‘proper’ way should be 1-0 in favour of RIC. VER didn’t participate in Mon-quali bc of his own fault, RIC didn’t participate in q2 (and thus q3) bc of tech issues and there was no point to.
          Between Ger and Ita you had Hun and Bel. In Hun the gap was 5.3s. And you say it isn’t skewed.. Sudden form of loss of RIC? Motivational probs you say? Max in a class of his own you claim? No of course not. Actual reason: Stroll spun or crashed his car, flags were waved, RIC couldn’t finish his lap. When the session resumed, it was raining heavily. This quali-result in itself was responsible for much of the 0.7s average around the summerbreak, more than 70%. Yet the oranges refuse to take this into account. Delusional.
          Belgium was also a strange one. Red Bull gambled, and lost out in quali, by giving their drivers not enough fuel for a second run. The gap was within normal range though, 0.17 in Max’ favour. It still should be given an asterisk though, bc it was a wet quali.

          Then comes Singapore. A track Ric is no slouch at to say the least. Qualified and finished in 2nd or 3rd in the previous 4 years. Yet he gets blown away by VER with almost two thirds of a second. The same guy he beat by over two tenths of second in 2016 and only narrowly got beaten by in 2017 (0.026s). So there must have been something up with the car. A gap that is a third bigger than at Silverstone, which in itself was already an outlier, due to a technical issue.

          16 quali’s but only in about half of them you can assign a delta to them. Bah and Mon you can’t (Max being out of contention). Same goes for Bri and Sin (car thingi’s RIC). Hun (unequal circumstances), Ger+Ita+Rus (penalties) are also obvious.
          If you wouldn’t take these into account, you would get an average delta of about 1/8th of a second, so less than 0.13s, in Max’ favour. Less than 0.13s while the ‘official’ delta would be over half a second. And instead of about 6-3 or 7-3 in favour of VER when it comes to duels, the ‘official’ standing says 13-2 I reckon. Both the 0.13s and 6-3 or 7-3 stat, are pretty much in line with their respective counterparts of 2017.

          So there you have it. Throw in a lot of bad luck in quali for one driver (even more so in the races btw) and add a bunch of oranges that only accept stats, rulings etc in which their subject of worship gets the better end of the deal, you get a distorded, skewed view of what is really going on. See also anon’s comment below.

          1. If Max’s quick lap was performed illegally – then Sochi is a Ric win.

          2. krxx, you make a lot of assumpions about me, even about things I didn’t even mention. I think that is a good example of you being biased as well.

            I don’t think I like Max as a person and he does some silly things on track (more than Ricci), but it’s undeniable that he has the better of Ricciado in qualifying. I just wonder why because Ricciardo was extremely good at it. I don’t think it’s only because of Max, I even presented some possible other factors. But you already put me in the one camp and conveniently fill up the blanks.

          3. Krxx,
            You almost wrote a book trying to explain Ricciardo hardly gets beaten by Verstappen, when in reality only Vandoorne did a worse job against Alonso in 2018, In 2017 only three drivers did wrse against their team mates. Sure quali doesn;t really matter than much when you take grid penalties…on the other hand when Max sees a battle he wants to win it… that kind of is his signature in F1.

            The more fiercly you try and make logic turn out the way you want it, the more illogic it gets.
            Points is Ricciardo is beaten in near every session…he qualifief ahead once, Baku by 0.083 sec thanks to a tow, he got overtaken in lap 5…yet you feel Ricciardo did a better job at Baku…even after he got overtaken for the second time by his team mate.

            When Verstappen outqualifies Ricciardo over 0.5 sec then you figure it must be the car…well numbers showed Verstappens car actually lost 0.2 ec in his Singapore Q3 run… not Ricciardo’s.

            On every forum there are guys like you, not sheering for their favorite driver, but instead very fiercly trying to make the other driver look bad…at all costs. Your opinion won;t be take seriously when you can;t acknowledge defeat… the battle between Verstappen and Ricciarod was decided after the summerstop 2016.
            In 2017 Ric scored more points cause Verstappen consistantly DNF-ed IN FRONT of Ricciardo.
            Team bossed and critics reckognized that pretty well and ranked Verstappen well above Ricciardo.

          4. @matthijs
            You were the first one to call the other biased, and you said it bc of my assertion of performances, ie bc I don’t worship your idol, while my assertion is purely based on data. That was my starting point. Now you claim I’m being biased bc I made a couple of assumptions in the first paragraph about how you wrote your comment. Well, do you deny them? These are again based on data, namely your comment above and previous comments of you on this site.

            Where did I say that Max did worse at qualifying, where? I actually said he, on average, was around 0.13s quicker. Don’t blame me for things I didn’t say/do. I merely said the figures are skewed. The ‘official’ average is around 4x bigger. That’s heavily skewed and you still haven’t answered my question.

            Maxn, one of the notorious FBoys. Always trying to change facts, bend them, etc etc. With one purpose only.
            I know you and your fellow oranges can’t stand actual facts, analysis, etc if they show something other than your distorted view of reality. You have shown this time and again.

            There is no battle you if your teammate takes a grid penalty and the team therefore decides to not run him in Q2. There is no battle if your teammate isn’t allowed to complete his lap bc another driver crashes his car and afterwards it starts to pour, etc etc. Yet I still conclude that Max is the quicker one in qualifying for the past about 1.75 seasons, just not by that big of a margin.

            ‘The more fiercly you try and make logic turn out the way you want it, the more illogic it gets.” – Nice to see you using my words. Difference is I back it up with reasoning, you just say it, leaving it to be a hollow phrase.
            You bring up Baku. Now what do you think you’re able to do? It’s something you oranges always try to do. Spread lies and with these lies you try to convince people. But it just happens that I’ve actually seen quali and race and the action in it. Let’s break it down: First you claim your subject of affection only got beaten bc RIC got a tow. RIC was 3s behind Kimi. I don’t know exactly if this is enough for a significant tow but if it is, then Max also had a tow bc guess who was 3s behind RIC? Secondly, you mention Max overtook RIC. Indeed, Max caught RIC out napping right at the beginning when the SC came back in. But you do realise the race was about 51 laps, not just 4 or 5, right? So what happened after? Immediately after RIC got passed by VER, he was swarming all around him. He attacked him twice or thrice and got passed him once slightly, but VER was able to come back the next corner bc he had the inner line. Another time VER didn’t give RIC a car width where RIC had to choose between driving into the wall, VER, or back off. Max already got away without a penalty in that one, but sois. Then Daniel tried another pass and this time he made it stick. Then he went on building up a gap. So what do you make out of all this swarming, passing and not being able to get away (Max) VS building up a gap once passed (Daniel)? Clearly Daniel was the faster one. Then come the pit stop in which RB messed up RIC’s one and he got back behind VER once again. RIC again swarming behind VER and 2 or so laps after the pit stop he made an attempt to pass and VER made his illegal changing-lane-two-or-three times-defensive move that ended in their double DNF. But heyyy, Max is your honey bunny so you still claim VER was the faster one that weekend. RIC was way faster. And even your guy himself has said he doesn’t like street circuits and doesn’t want anymore added to the calendar, yet you hang on for dear life on your impeccable image of your somewhat half-countryman. Why? Is there that little going on in your life that you feel the need to resort to these tactics? Don’t you have anyone to take care of?

            Show you say that VER was actually almost 0.9s faster in Sin? You actually believe that? A driver pairing that in their almost 2 years (I won’t count their first half year together in which RIC was about 0.4s quicker bc Max was new in the team) together were never furher adrift than 0.3s in equal circumstances, and just about 0.13s on average, from each other, in a very stable, easy to drive car (relatively ofc), are suddenly 0.9s adrift? That’s what I mean by delusional.

            Your last paragraph: ahahahahahaha. Getting all emotional, are we? Let’s have a quick glance at the actualities after the summerbreak 2016:
            2016: RIC 123 points VER 89 with 1 DNF through no fault of his own
            2017: 200 with 6 DNFs, including HUN for which Max publicly apologized VS 168 with 4 or 3 DNFs plus Sin (racing incident), so at best, for you oranges I’ll be lenient, 5
            2018: 134 (6) And that’s without the strange 0.7s deficit in Sin-quali, one of his best tracks – 158 (1or2)
            So add them up: RIC 457 (12) VER 415 (7 or 8). So, not only has DRIC scored more points than your precious, he also had 50-72% more DNFs than Max had. Add to these heartbreaking reality, I know it hurts, the horrible bad luck RIC has had in a couple of FPs and qualis this year, and the fact that RIC isn’t being invested in by RB anymore bc he is leaving for Renault, and you’ll come to the conclusion that the only ones who have been defeated, are your boy and your ongoing pathetic attempts to paint an orange, distorted, twisted version of reality, hahahahahahah.

            Max’ 5th place today may be soothing a little bit, but don’t dig too deep, you might find something you won’t like, like the fact that RIC was driving a crippled car all race long.
            Nighty nighty.

    2. Same thoughts here

    3. Guybrush Threepwood
      29th September 2018, 23:32

      Hit the nail on the head there Kyle. Max couldn’t take it. There are in fact reports that Max turned his engine up on what was permitted so he could jump Ricciardo.

      Reality is that when all is even there is nothing to split Ricciardo and Max on one lap pace, possibly a half tenth in Max’s favour, however every now and then Ricciardo has a blip and is off by a fair amount.

  5. Racing God does not care for your puny flags. Racing God fast. Racing God talent. Racing God champion!

  6. Yeah, silly rules sometimes hurt. I geuss Ves doesn’t give a damn. F1 is killing itself anyway. So for everybody watching tomorrow lots of excitement and hope for a nice race. I will be trucking all day tomorrow ;-). Guess who has fun anyway.

  7. I bet the only reason why he got the penalty points is because he’d be dead last anyway after the extra gearbox penalty. Without it it would not be a penalty.
    That, or Judge Dredd Connelly falling back into his habit of punishing Verstappen again, as usual.
    Of course he should have lifted, even when he could safely speed by. Ah well.

    1. Your comment doesn’t make sense at all. You reckon that the only reason he got the penalty, is “bc he’d be dead last anyway.” So effectively, there is no penalty. Then you go on talking smack about the stewards. And you conclude by “Of course he should have lifted, even when he could safely speed by.” Incomprehensible.

      But is it out of context? No, we all are used to you oranges attacking anything/anyone that ‘wrongs’ your idol. Even if there’s hard evidence like live coverage of him squeezing Bottas out of track, telemetry, admissions etc etc

    2. Bart, no, Verstappen is getting treated no worse than any other driver on the grid – if anything, it seems that in order not to offend that section of Verstappen’s fan base that have made threats against the FIA’s officials (particularly against Connelly after Max encouraged his fans to do so) if they have the temerity to penalise Max, the penalty is on the more lenient end of the spectrum.

      The minimum penalty that a driver who has been found speeding in a yellow flag zone is a three place grid penalty and two points on his licence – the exact same penalty was imposed on Haryanto, Palmer and Nasr in the 2016 Austrian GP for speeding in a yellow flag zone during qualifying.

      However, the FIA has, in more recent races, imposed a harsher penalty for speeding in a yellow flag zone of a five place grid penalty and three points on the drivers licence – that was the penalty given to Perez for speeding in a yellow flag zone during qualifying in the 2016 Singapore GP, to both Grosjean and Palmer for speeding in a yellow flag zone in the 2017 Chinese GP and to Massa for speeding in a yellow flag zone during the final practise session in the 2017 Belgian GP.

      In the case of Raikkonen in the 2017 Belgian GP, where he sped through a double waived yellow during the race, his behaviour was considered to be sufficiently reckless that he was given a stop and go penalty in that race on top of the grid penalty and points on his licence.

      Max’s penalty, therefore, is consistent with what has gone before – if anything, it is slightly lenient compared to the penalty that has been imposed on other drivers in more recent events.

      1. (particularly against Connelly after Max encouraged his fans to do so) i

        That;s a really delusional remark there. VER never called fpr such a thing!
        Stupid fans do stupid things.. We had that with Perez fans, a lot of subjective Ham fans, some blinded down under fans etc..stupid VER fans that made foolish remarks to Salo ( not Connely, although he was to “blame” for a string of strange actions according to some)
        So we can conclude there are stupid fans for every driver on the grid. So what’s new.. the problem is in this social network times every remark will receive the fishbowl effect.

    3. Verstappen should consider himself lucky he has not been penalised for every rule he has broken.

  8. If you don’t slow down under yellow, you deserve a penalty

    So nothing more to say here

  9. Is he ever going to learn?
    His driving skills know no bounds – it’s between the ears that limits him from being great.

    1. What other 20 year old drivers with 4 race wins and almost 4 complete seasons in F1 do you want to compare him with?

      1. @anunaki, well, if we were to give drivers a more lenient time based on age, then surely you will be prepared to give Stroll more leeway in future given that he is over a year younger than Max is.

        The other aspect is that there are other drivers from his age category whom others would say do act in a more mature manner – for example, I think that quite a few would say that Leclerc comes across as being a pretty even tempered and mature individual, even though he is about a month younger than Max is.

      2. Granted he is young but 4 years on the F1 circuit and still shooting himself in the foot. Ocon, Le Clerc and evn Gasly are also young but I’d argue much more grounded and I’m not sure they wouldn’t have done as good as Max in that Red Bull.

      3. Age alone doesn’t matter. Those other youngsters don’t have these results.

        And it’s not like Max is driving a Mercedes

  10. … And absolutely no one cared.

  11. The petulence of youth…

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