Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2019

Did Verstappen deserve to lose pole over yellow flag error?

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Max Verstappen will start today’s Mexican Grand Prix from fourth on the grid after being given a three-place penalty for failing to slow for yellow flags after Valtteri Bottas’s crash.

In the official FIA press conference after qualifying Verstappen admitted he did not back off, but was careful not to acknowledge whether he had seen the yellow flags. Verstappen believes an appropriate penalty for failing to slow for yellow flags would be to have his lap time deleted.

However the stewards gave him a three-place grid drop and two penalty points on his licence. This is the same sanction he was given at the Russian Grand Prix last year when he was found not to have slowed for yellow flags.

Did they make the right decision? How do you think they should have handled it? Join in out poll and debate below.

Too harsh

Verstappen argued that F1 drivers “know what we are doing otherwise we would not be driving an F1 car” and that in qualifying “you go for it”.

Deleting his lap time would have prevented him from gaining an advantage by not slowing for the yellow flags. Verstappen may have broken the rules on his final lap, but he also set another lap which was good enough for pole position.

Too lenient

Lap time deletion penalties are used when drivers abuse track limits. Speeding past a crash scene where marshals are working is potentially more dangerous, and requires a more severe penalty, one which will discourage the drivers from speeding past a crash scene to begin with.

Verstappen’s penalty should have been more severe as he hasn’t learned his lesson from Sochi last year, when he received the same penalty.

I say

Verstappen’s argument that he should just have his best lap time deleted is obviously self-serving, and said in the knowledge that he would have kept his pole position under those circumstances. Deleting Verstappen’s final lap time would not be fair on Vettel, who reacted correctly to the yellow flag by aborting his lap. It would send a message to other drivers that they should not lift for yellow flags in qualifying as the stewards will decide whether the resulting lap time stands.

Out of the 11 other such incidents investigated in the past four seasons, four resulted in three-place grid drops and four resulted in five-place grid drops. Therefore Verstappen clearly deserved at least a three-place grid penalty, but there is precedent for a stiffer sanction.

There is arguably a case for one as well. If a driver commits an infraction – particularly a safety violation – and later repeats it, giving them a stiffer penalty the second time may compel them to acknowledge a rule they have repeatedly ignored.

While I have some sympathy for this, at the same time I understand why the stewards want to keep their penalties consistent in the interests of fairness, which is what they have done here. n my view, the stewards have given Verstappen the minimum acceptable penalty here, with the emphasis on ‘acceptable’.



You say

Was Verstappen’s penalty fair? Cast your vote below and have your say in the comments.

Max Verstappen's three-place grid penalty in qualifying for the Mexican GP was...

  • Far too harsh (4%)
  • Slightly too harsh (4%)
  • Correct (54%)
  • Slightly too lenient (27%)
  • Far too lenient (12%)
  • No opinion (0%)

Total Voters: 312

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Keith Collantine
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  • 97 comments on “Did Verstappen deserve to lose pole over yellow flag error?”

    1. It is remarkable that only after Ves admitted himself in the interview that he didn’t lift, the investigation started followed by a penalty. Would he have lied no investigation would have happened. True sportmanship on that item. So considering this the penalty is too harsh, but in line with the rules. So lets go to the race.

      1. @pietkoster

        only after Ves admitted himself in the interview that he didn’t lift, the investigation started followed by a penalty.

        I found the delay curious but I think it’s jumping to conclusions by connecting those two things, particularly as the stewards’ ruling makes no mention of Verstappen’s press conference remarks.

        1. The Stewards didn’t investigate or anything else, only after they noticed the remark of Ves in the interview they were triggered. That is why it took so long to give the penalty. So one and one makes two, imo.

        2. First of all thanks for keeping this great F1 fans forum going.

          I am of the opinion that it was a massive failure by race officials. I expected them to hold off announcing the qualifying results because they first of all had to look at all drivers who completed their laps after Bottas’ crash. I expected in the least that some Q3 lap times would be deleted.

          The fact they didn’t suggests to me they had no intention of investigating if any driver had continued pushing under yellow flag conditions.

          It is very worrying the message this sends out, but we have more or less heard from Masi that his approach is that penalties will be more severe if there is an actual collision than if a driver creates a situation were a collision is only possible.

      2. Ferrari were onto it immediately. They pointed out both Le Clerc and Vettel backed off. They would have been on the phone to the stewards

        1. Yeah, on phone they offered a 488 or an F8 to each steward, right @theoddkiwi?

        2. Le Clerc did not back off as he was in front of bottas.

      3. @pietkoster, I think that many more would have said true sportsmanship would have been to show greater respect to the safety and welfare of the marshals who keep his career going by obeying the rules and slowing down when receiving the instruction to do so.

        It is not harsh to remind Verstappen that, whilst he might be well protected by the advances in safety that have been implemented over the years, the people who have to clear up the cars in an accident are still as vulnerable as ever when they have to enter the track.

        1. I voted Correct, but let’s note that there were no marshals yet on the track side of the barriers at VB’s crash site. I am not being flippant about the safety of marshals nor of Max’s blunder, but certainly let’s take into account the fact that no marshals were in danger, and had they already been sent out to help VB there would likely have been earlier and more flags such that Max would have indeed taken heed. Not excusing Max, just saying F1 was doing their part in correctly not sending the marshals out too soon, for their safety, so let’s not use rhetoric in this specific case that Max endangered marshals. Had there actually been marshals there and all Max saw was one last minute yellow flag a relative small number of metres before the incident, that would have been a failing on F1’s part.

          1. It doesn’t matter there were no marshals yet there. They could have been there.

            1. @MrKii It was pointed out by @robbie that the marshalls do not come onto the track, until more yellow flags are being waved further ahead, so that their safety is not jeopardized by a single yellow flag being missed by a driver who was looking the other way. Still doesn’t mean you can keep pushing as on a green track.

              What I am wondering:
              1. Why did Max push on, considering he was guaranteed pole when Bottas went into the barrier?
              2. Did Max perhaps consider it safest, when he saw the incident, to take the turn liken he always does, instead of lifting mid-corner, which would make the aero behavior of the car unpredictable and more dangerous, perhaps losing grip / spinning more easily?

          2. You are correct about the marshalls. They follow the prescribed procedures and are given instructions when they can enter the track area. But lets not forget about the other driver who is either still in his car or busy climbing out. What Max did had the potential of making Botha’s situation much worse given where the car was stopped. I vote that the punishment is correct. I don’t think that the stewards were influenced by the comments during the post qualifying interviews.

          3. I find it unbelievable that a yellow flag is not waved on the right hand side of the track where the drivers will actually looking rather than on the left where it is outside drivers eye line.

      4. Max is forgetting the main reason for the yellow flag is for safety of the driver who crashed and the safety of the drivers approaching the area of the crash period! Max seems to not understand also where Bottas crashed at the final turn for the home straight going at maximum speed. Max was also coming around the same corner at maximum speed where he clearly saw the flag, now think for a second what if Max lost control at the same location and crashed into Bottas, he would have not doubt killed him and probably himself also. I have never been more upset with an arrogant situation as this one. Max in my opinion should have gotten a ban or a least been made to start at the back of the grid. This is a message to all drivers, lets not wait to someone is killed before something as simple as slowing on a yellow flag is paid attention to. Who knows it might be Max next time who crashes and some else does not pay attention to the yellow flag
        and the outcome fatal and all of F1 will be shouting for a rule that already exits!!!!

    2. isaac (@invincibleisaac)
      27th October 2019, 12:29

      Personally I think it was a bit harsh, and thought his lap time should have been deleted instead. Hamilton also improved his lap time, although you could argue that he was much closer behind Bottas so there weren’t any yellow flags at the time, however he still would have seen the incident unfold and had enough time to back off. I find it disappointing when someone inherits pole, but it should make for an exciting race and I still believe Verstappen can recover and claim the win.

      I had been looking forward to the long run to Turn 1 with Verstappen starting from pole, but it will be interesting to see how this unfolds now with the 2 Ferrari’s at the front given their monster straight line speed, but they won’t have any slipstream. Who will get into Turn 1 first? I reckon Vettel.

      For the record does anyone know when the last time someone inherited pole position because of a penalty was? My memory tells me it was Mark Webber back in Monaco 2012 but is there a more recent example?

      1. Hamilton didnt break any flags and was relatively close to the incident. So it was more fair that he didnt slow down.

        The others by contrast has way way more lead time for the warning and flag.

      2. Lenny (@leonardodicappucino)
        27th October 2019, 15:24

        @invincibleisaac According to onboard footage it can be seen that the yellow flags come out only after Hamilton passed the area. Therefore, he was not required to lift.

      3. Generally deleting a lap time is given for exceeding track limits. This was a safety issue and therefore a different rule is applicable. I think that the punishment ic correct and not at all too harsh as some posters have said.

    3. He broke a rule, was unbothered by it and had pole position anyway so yeah he probably deserved the penalty. That said it was a fantastic lap and having the Red Bull on pole would have been great. Though could be argued in a way given the slipstream down the straight, despite having pole he may not have wanted it after all.

      1. Though I agree having Verstappen on pole would be great @rocketpanda, that is exactly what I don’t understand about his reaction: unlike any of the others, he had little to lose from himself and everyone else having to back off, as it would ensure him pole, with no one able to do better, so why not do the safe thing?

    4. Despite being a huge fan and always rooting for Jim, I have to say yes, deserved. Dont mess with safety rules

      1. Definitely agree! Just deleting the time is not a penalty. This deserves a penalty. Really silly video-game behaviour to just power through an accident.

    5. 1. Totally Correct
      2. Consistent
      3. He has already been penalized for the very same offence. Obviously didn’t teach him anything
      4. In recent years and especially this year we witnessed what happens when hothead drivers are trusted they “know what they are doing”. Obviously they don’t

      1. 12 points penalty system is nice, but I would have improved it with some additions – like a race ban for 3 repeats of some serious violation regardless of accumulated points.
        This would have made Verstappen think at least a tiny bit.
        Instead at the next race, he will keep pushing the pedal down, knowing that he risks only 3 places.

      2. Yes, and for #3 being true, they should have given him the 5 position penalty instead of the 3 for being a repeat offender.

        1. Good… good… Let the hate flow through you…

          1. I think MV is a brilliant driver. However, I still think he should have got a 5 place penalty rather than a 3. He has not learned his lesson.

    6. Seeing he was given warning of crash and still didnt lift the penalty is far too linient. Stewards and Masi have turned to a farce when it comes to safety standards and seems like they have turned a convinient shut eye even after death of Hubert.

      1. Also his attitude was far too arrogant knowing he had broken rule on purpose.

        1. Good… good… Let the hate flow through you…

          1. You have become very boring with your childish silly little comments. Does Mummy know that you are playing on her computer again. You are going to be in serious trouble when she catches you out of your cot again.

    7. In the recent years, the approach has been: stop everything (red flag or SC-VSC) at the minimal disruption. Sometimes in my opinion that was taken very far like when Sainz stoped completely of the track and very far from the cars in Monza or when Vettel retired in Sochi very close to an opening in the barriers. It’s normal that after years using this approach the drivers simply assume that if there’a not a red flag or SC it means the track is ok.

      Why didn’t the session was red flagged immediately? The effect of having yellow flags would be exactly the same…

      1. The difference between red flag and yellow is in the case of yellow it’s not immediately obvious how severe or dangerous the crash/stoppage is. Yellow doesn’t force everyone to pit, and gives drivers an opportunity to go again on the next lap, assuming track gets cleaned up in 90sec. Red doesn’t allow for this and wastes time with extra out lap. The problem is not red or yellow. It’s between yellow and green. Many just think yellow IS green. I don’t understand why ‘lifting’ or slower sector is a valid excuse to show the driver was safe. The sector, or mini sector needs to be at least a second slower, not 0.01% slower. I suggest a blanked rule is made where you must abandon your fast lap if you go through yellow mini sector. Then no-one will push for it.

        1. I think the checkered flag was already there, so yellow and red would be the same.

          Its normal that the drivers assume yellow equals green, the yellow flags without SC or VSC have almost being removed from the sport in the last few years. As I said, it’s normal that the drivers assume that no serious issue is going on, because the last years show that any issue (even some ridiculous safe like Sainz in Monza) are dealt with some form of “everyone stop racing”.

          I agree with that rule suggested, the 1s slower, and I believe it should be applied in the race more often instead of the VSC rule that makes everyone go to the pits make the mandatory stop and then everyone stays with the same strategy for the rest of the race which is pretty boring.

        2. @ivan-vinitskyy I’m sure there were instances before (though I can’t recall exactly when) where a red flag is shown where yellow flag should be sufficient when it’s clear the session is basically over anyway. I agree that the race director should just red flag the session and ended it right there. However it doesn’t justify Max’s action. I think he should get more penalty just because it’s clear he don’t respect the safety of other people and a repeat offender.

          1. @sonicslv race directors have to think about the spectacle too. Their job is to let the drivers race safely. Red would have meant that Lec couldn’t complete his lap, even though the crash happened behind him. Imagine if you had Bottas run last and crash in first corner. Red would immediately cancel everyone else’s laps even though no one would go past his crash. So, red and yellow have their places. Drivers just have to respect them.

            1. @ivan-vinitskyy There’s always a downside for any decision they make and while it sucks for Leclerc I still think it’s the overall best decision. Besides considering how close Bottas crash to the Start/Finish line it’s very possible Leclerc finished his lap before reasonable human reaction time to red flag the session after watching and processing the crash.

    8. People are so 2 faced, only a few months ago hundreds were expressing their sadness over the death of Anthoine Hubert and now penalising Max is seen as some kind of attack on him. He is not the victim! Its time people realise what’s important…and yet only 7% atm think the penalty is “Far too lenient”

      1. It is because the penalty is consistent with the past, hence people think it is the right decision.

    9. Correct penalty. Rules were broken, penalty was issued.
      Just don’t make so much fuss about it. Verstappen is not the root of all evil. Speeding under yellow has happened many times before. Forget it and move on.

      1. @rj01 It is a responsibility of compassionate people to voice opinions that they see as detrimental to health of others. Imagine your family were all marshals trying to recover the car when crazy Max going full power around a bend. Would you feel OK with that? Would you look at rules and be OK with it because rules say you should be?
        It really isn’t about Max. Max just represents unsafe / uncaring drivers more than any other in this instance. I hated when Rosberg had gone purple a few years back just as much.

        1. There is a massive difference between Rosberg incident and what happeneded yesterday. In hungary accident took place at start of sector 2 and Rosberg was ahead on track and about to start sector 3. Yesterday Max was approaching the scene of accident and into zone of double waved yellows(apparently by Max’s own admission he was warned of yellows ahead and still chose not to lift off.)

          1. Chaitanya, that’s not true. I think it happened before Ros got there. Alonso recovered from his spin, but flags were still flying. In any case, Ros didn’t slow down sufficiently, just as Max didn’t.

            @rj01, This is why we have people and not computers judging who did what and what to do about it. Not everything is covered by rules, and rules aren’t perfect. If anything, rules are there to ensure consistency in ruling. It’s an illusion of fairness. Illusion because no incident is the same; for instance if Max does the same fault every session it’s probably not correct to penalise him the same way every time. Circumstances matter and thy can’t all be covered by written rules. Besides, what’s important and what’s safe or fair keeps evolving. Rules are never quite right, they need constant adjustment. Now is that time to adjust safety related ones.

            @robbie It all happened in 10sec, it’s not enough time to watch the cameras, signal the marshals and start waiving the right flag. Relying on flags alone is not sufficient, it’s a good warning system for what’s ahead but ultimately people make mistakes. Maybe it was a mistake to send out single yellow, maybe it should have been double. Or maybe some marshal run out on track before he was given permission to. Crashes are just those events where unexpected is expected. Everything happens fast, decisions are rushed. Going flat out is very uncompromising and with safety you just shouldn’t allow it to be so.

        2. In Japan Charles raced an unsafe car and almost killed Lewis. Why shouldn’t he be sent home? The point is that FIA made rules about these kind of incidents. In my opinion rules were applied correctly. If these rules are not enough according to the racing world, we should talk about those rules and not about a single racer breaking those rules.

        3. @ivan-vinitskyy Yesterday there were no marshals on the track when Max went by. Had there been, I’m sure there would have been many more flags much sooner for Max to heed. Not excusing what Max did, and I voted Correct for his penalty, but just saying if there actually were marshals on the track it is very likely that Max would have behaved differently imho.

      2. Speeding under yellow doesn’t normally come attached to the claim that a driver can overrule the stewards because he knows better about safety. How can a driver be allowed on track, having made that claim? Obviously there needs to be a suspension until the situation is resolved, and I don’t understand why that isn’t the case here.

        A fundamental prerequisite of any kind of sport is accepting the rulings of the officials in charge. If Max won’t do that, he can’t race. Suspend him, he’ll get the message and apologise; let him race, and you justify his belief.

    10. Actually it could be argued that the penalty was lenient since he did the same mistake only last year.

      1. Maybe more penalty points?

    11. I was hesitating between correct and slightly lenient. Went for Correct due to single yellow. Waving just single yellow was a mistake from the marshals.

      1. @f1mre Don’t you think post-session interview and lack of remorse justifies a more harsh penalty?

      2. @f1mre

        Agreed.

        My only concern is if there is a way to get the yellow flags on sooner. It would have been nice to force Hamilton to lift too.

    12. So the moral of the story is be honest and get yourself penalised… I can’t believe that some people even voted they are too lenient… He was honest about it for god sake.. If he had lied he would have gotten away with it.. Guess being honest isn’t worth much these days..

      1. Well being honestly unsafe is still unsafe, which deserves, according to the rules, a penalty. And with Ferrari pushing the view that both of their drivers did alow, he would likely not have gotten away with it either.

      2. That is like saying confessing to a murder means you should get absolved to it.

        Obviously this is not the same level, but it is irresponsible nevertheless.

        I suspect other teams would have complained ans he would have gotten the penalty anyways. Especially Ferrari who stood and now have got pole.

    13. Correct

      Its a shame no one is talking about his great lap beating both Ferrari’s in a slower car because of this

      1. @anunaki How are you so sure the car was slower? Even you must know you are just making stuff up.

        1. I’m not 100% sure but I look at certain things and what certain people say (I.e. Vettel)

          Don’t feel like explaining it because it doesn’t change anything

          1. @anunaki Well Verstappen indicated that the car was good enough for pole and the win. So yeah there is not much to explain.

            1. @f1osaurus when he’s driving it is. He could’ve easily said the same if he was driving a Ferrari. After all he has been faster than Leclerc during their time together

            2. @anunaki Bwahahahahaha. That’s funny.

    14. Personally I think it was deserved. Not because I want to see him get a penalty, but for the brazen assurance that he would get away with it. He would deserve it even more if marshals had already made their way to the stricken car. We all know the drivers are capable of handling these situations with skill, but accidents to happen, which is the reason why the drivers have to respect the yellow flags.

    15. I chose “slightly too lenient”, as the time wasn’t deleted alongside the grid drop.

      Wouldn’t affect the outcome, but he doesn’t deserve that track record.

      1. He drove a car that was within the technical rules around this particular circuit in that amount of time. Pretending it never happened would be very strange to me, penalty or not.

        1. True, but others were denied the chance to beat the old record, and he would also be, had he followed the rules.

        2. He did still break a rule to achieve that lap time though. It seems equally odd to me to keep a lap time that was achieved by breaking a rule. Others who obeyed the rule also gave up faster laps in some cases. Whilst they probably wouldn’t have beaten Max, it sets a bad precedent to give any kind of positive outcome for breaking the rules.

    16. Correct, but looking at the on-board you only see the yellow at a stage where lifting has no use anymore.
      The on-board notification was not given, so only the yellow on track, to close to the accident was visible.

    17. Verstappen has grown a lot on me over the last year, he seems to have finally started to mature into a decent person. But this shows that he still have a long way to go. And, that he still doesn’t actually care about other people, he has just gotten better at hiding his arrogance. I’m sure that one day he will be wise enough to realize what is wrong with his current approach, but I think this was a lost opportunity to maybe get him there quicker. The kid needs to be put on the sidelines for at least one race at some point, otherwise he will not feel the pain of the penalty. He has proven that.

      I’m not saying this particular incident deserved much more than a 3-place drop, I’m somewhat ok with that for this instance. But knowingly ignoring a safety rule (and not for the first time) is, or at least should be, one of the most severe crimes in the rule book. For me it would have been totally fair to go as far as to disqualify him from qualifying, meaning he would not have been allowed to start the race.

    18. Safety first: seems correct (incl. penalty points)!

      But please be consistent and quicker (marshalls, not the driver) in the future.
      Memory (probably not serving me well) tells me that in the past other drivers just got their lap time deleted when not lifting under yellow.

      1. I don’t remember anyone just having their time deleted for anything other than track limits (which admittedly may also be a case of bad memory).

    19. Imagine Max pushing and losing it in the same corner, right into Bottas.

      Still too harsh? At all?

    20. I‘m not shocked by Max not lifting under yellow, in the end they‘re racing drivers having to make split-second decisions. Above all they’re humans and sometimes they make the wrong decision in the heat of the moment.

      But for gods sake, his arrogant attitude in the presser was infuriating. Yes, he may have been in control of his car in that particular situation because his car was intact. But sometimes unpredictable things happen and then they’re not in control anymore. Willingly ignoring yellow flags, putting the lives of the marshals and a fellow driver at risk and having no remorse about it whatsoever in my opinion disqualify him not just as an F1 driver but as a race driver in general. The same careless behaviour caused the fatalities of Bianchi and Hubert and he learned little to zero from it. From that point of view the penalty was way too lenient.

      1. I think his attitude was more annoying than the crime, as bad as it was in terms of safety.

        Drivers make mistakes, I understand that. But not to be remorseful after the fact than bothers me more. Especially since it is not his first time.

        I hope he learns from this even if this wasn’t the first time.

      2. +1.

        Even though he has aged well for his driving style not crashing and making silly mistakes anymore. There’s still room for improvement. I can see Max is somehow similar to young Michael. He still wants to show that he can be better than his last attempt. Which is an indicator for a future champion but there is still some left from that 17 year old Verstappen who made errors. This was one of those but he made it through as he said himself.

    21. The post quali interview was seriously damning. I guess that doesn’t get taken into account, but he literally said that he didn’t care about the safety. They know what they are doing so they go full out for it. Yeah with a car already crashed and potentially stewards walking around it!

      I guess Verstappen learned the rules now though. He apparently assumed he had only his fastest lap to lose and therefore there would be no consequences from his asocial driving again.

    22. Starting 4th may be better than starting on Pole today if he can get a good tow and maybe get 3rd and let the Ferrari management hand him a victory.

    23. Max is young and more than a little full of himself. He needs to learn that the rules apply to him, too.

    24. The ruling was correct.
      If they aren’t going to enforce the rules on the flags, just throw away the rule book. We’ve seen inadvertent checkered flags end a race. Why? Because the drivers react to the checkered and stop racing. How dangerous is it if some racers slow down when seeing yellow whilst the “more competitive” (see reckless) driver continues racing?

      And once again, the teams do have the option of actually putting their cars on the track for a third run in qualifying. It would be far more exciting for the fans instead of watching the pit crew cover and uncover the tyres with the warmers to fake out all the other teams whose pit crews are also covering and uncovering the tyres and then at 2 minutes they all rush out of the pits to get the one lap in.

    25. Given it’s a second offence and given it was blindingly obvious he had to slow given Bottas’s location and the evident damage and possible harm, plus stewards running about in response, a 5 place grid penalty was appropriate.

    26. You can’t really make an argument against it, particularly when it’s a safety issue. If there’s a yellow flag, you lift and everyone knows that’s the case.

      It’s a shame for Max from a racing standpoint, but he made the choice not to lift and therefore has to accept the consequence of that, which is almost always a 3-5 place grid drop.

    27. Far too lenient. He made a conscious decision to ignore the yellow flag and for that he should have received at least a one race ban. The FIA go on and on about safety and yet when a repeat yellow flag offender comes along, they slap him on the wrist. If safety is truly a concern, the penalty for ignoring safety rules must be draconian.

    28. I understand Verstappens point. The right thing there was to lift off but Verstappen saw Bottas and knew he won’t crash into him. Eventhough his tire could have failed or something similar. He made a the lap through and lowered his previous time even more. He (as Charles in russia) wanted to give everything eventhough this was a different situation. The penalty was right but Verstappen has some truth in his words.

      1. It is all and good trying to improve your time but in a dangerous sport like tho, you need to take into account other people’s safety as well.

        I think the harder part is to find symphathy is that this is not his first time and that he wasn’t more remorseful.

      2. While I agree with you on some “truths” Verstappen told, safety comes first regardless. Too many people died, and still do, racing and knowing what they were doing…!

    29. Either correct or slightly lenient.

      The thing pushing me towards thinking he got off lightly is the positioning of the incident. It wasn’t zipping past a car parked at the side of a straight, it was going past a car stuck in a wrecked barrier on the outside of the corner. If he’d had a problem his car would have ended up where Bottas was parked, and that makes what he did a little more serious than a three-place drop.

      But the lack of activated light panels and a wheel light could perhaps be considered mitigating factors. If they’d all come on, and he’d still done what he did, I don’t think he’d have got away with three places.

    30. Should we start a list of the rules VER doesn’t think are rules:
      Slowing during yellow flags.
      Leaving a car’s width for a competitor.
      Not making a second move to defend.

    31. It’s easy to say in hind sight that he was well clear of the incident and therefore “safe”.
      What would have happened if Bottas was in the middle of the racing line? Same double yellow flags would have been waved…..

    32. It’s probablt the correct penalty, you could argue too lenient as he’s done the same before and not learned from it. Don’t mess with safety.

      Funnily enough though starting on the second row might help him as he has two Ferrari’s giving him a tow into T1, that could be a pretty epic braking point in just over 3 hours time………………

    33. Punishment for Max yes….but not a grid penalty, as that punishes us as spectators

      1. Really? To clarify, only a lap time deletion would be in order because the spectators would like to see Max on pole? Ok, so if Max lost the car like Bottas did, and slammed right into him, while he was still in the car or getting out and serious injuries would occur to any of them, how would that be beneficial to us, spectators?

        1. I do take your point @ Pedro R..and yellow flags have to followed, but as he only has to slow by a small fraction in that sector….he could easily have lost control and skidded into Bottas…which he didn’t do …take the lap time off him…fine him..etc etc…but not a grid penalty..

      2. Anything else than a grid penalty would not really have been a penalty.

    34. Obviously he made a mistake he should get punished

    35. Actually a race ban would have suit best for Verstappen as he has a sick approach to rules.

    36. I like Max, he’s got loads of talent, a great future in F1, though I start to feel through his actions he’s becoming a tad arrogant at times!

      That said, I don’t think he’d get away with a penalty of sorts even if he kept his mouth shut! I was watching qualifying and from the moment Bottas crashed, my imediate thoughts were “All settled, no times will improve now!”. And when I see his lap time improve…

      Though the penalty received is within the rules (and would expect no less), having made a previous stunt of the sorts last year, he should have been given a harsher penalty! Yes, F1 drivers know what they’re doing, if not they wouldn’t be doing it! And as every F1 driver knows a yellow flag IS a yellow flag! Guess Max still needs to learn a couple more things about being a racing driver!

    37. I think it’s correct. But still think it’s weird Rosberg got away with it in Hungary 2016. Set the fastest lap while passing double yellow.

      1. @rvg013 Lol yeah that was ridiculous. And he slowed down … for a corner. Which they accepted!

        Rosberg had a lot of those things though. He pushed people off track on the straight and they created a rule to no longer allow this behavior. Then he does it again in Spain on his team mate. No penalty.

        Or he missed the VSC mark and then Williams claimed the dashboard didn’t show the delta. As if that matters, but he got no penalty.

    38. Slightly too lenient in my opinion.
      I think a 5 place grid drop would have been a better punishment.
      Personally I believe the stewarding has been appallingly inconsistent this season.

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