Max Verstappen has been given a three-place grid penalty for the next race for causing a collision with Lewis Hamilton.
The stewards ruled Verstappen was “predominantly to blame” for the collision.
“Car 44 [Hamilton] was exiting the pits,” they noted. “Car 33 [Verstappen] was on the main straight. At the 50m board before turn one, car 44 was significantly ahead of car 33. Car 33 braked late and started to move alongside car 44, although at no point in the sequence does car 33 get any further forward than just behind the front wheel of car 44.
“During the hearing the driver of car 33 asserted that the cause of the incident was the driver of car 44 opening the steering after turn one and ‘squeezing’ him to the apex of turn two. The driver of car 44 asserted that the driver of car 33 attempted to pass very late and should have given up the corner either by backing off sooner, or by turning left behind the kerb.
“The stewards observed on CCTV footage that the driver of car 44 was driving an avoiding line, although his position caused car 33 to go onto the kerb. But further, the stewards observed that car 33 was not at all alongside car 44 until significantly into the entry into turn one. In the opinion of the stewards, this manoeuvre was attempted too late for the driver of car 33 to have ‘the right to racing room’.
“While car 44 could have steered further from the kerb to avoid the incident, the stewards determined that his position was reasonable and therefore find that the driver of car 33 was predominantly to blame for the incident.
“In coming to the penalty the stewards emphasise that they have only considered the incident itself and not the consequences thereof.”
Verstappen was also given two penalty points on his licence, which are his first two for the current 12-month period.
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