Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Red Bull Ring, 2023

Verstappen keeps pole position as stewards clear him of impeding Magnussen

2023 Austrian Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen has kept his pole position for the Austrian Grand Prix following an investigation by the stewards.

The Red Bull driver, who claimed his fourth consecutive pole position in today’s qualifying session, was summoned to the stewards over an incident in Q1 in which he appeared to impede the Haas of Kevin Magnussen.

However after speaking to both drivers and reviewing data from the incident, the stewards decided not to take any action.

The incident took place with just under six minutes remaining in Q1. Verstappen had just begun his second consecutive cool-down lap having set the quickest time of the session up to that point. As he rounded the first corner at reduced speed, he remained on the racing line at the left-hand side of the track on exit, keeping onto the kerb.

Behind Verstappen, Magnussen was beginning a push lap. The reduced speed of the Red Bull meant that Magnussen was shown a white flag on his approach to turn one, indicating a car ahead was running significantly off the pace. The Haas driver caught the Red Bull on the exit of turn one, with Verstappen moving further to the left to try and leave space for Magnussen, who passed him at racing speed on the right.

“Max Verstappen was completely in the way,” Magnussen complained over team radio. Magnussen went on to complete his lap, setting a personal best time that moved him from 14th up to ninth place at the time – before his lap was deleted for exceeding track limits at the final corner.

Although Magnussen told the stewards he lost time avoiding Verstappen, the stewards did not agree, noting he clipped a kerb on the way out of the corner.

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“The driver of car one [Verstappen] stated that he saw a car approaching after he crossed the line at the end of his push lap and moved to the left of the track after the exit of turn one. The driver of car 20 [Magnussen] stated that he had to move to the right to avoid car one and hence lost time on his fast lap.

“The stewards determined from the video (and audio) evidence that car 20 had clipped the kerb in turn one and that this subsequently caused a slight change in acceleration which in turn resulted in a slightly slower time on the next mini sectors. The stewards further determined that car 20 did not have to take significant evasive action.”

The time Magnussen set on that lap ultimately proved irrelevant as it was deleted due to a track limits violation, but the stewards said this had no bearing on their decision not to penalise Verstappen.

“The fact that the lap time of car 20 was subsequently deleted (due to exceeding track limits at turn 10) was irrelevant to this decision. Any incident is always investigated independently of other incidents or penalties.”

Had Verstappen been penalised it would likely have cost him pole position. Four drivers were penalised for impeding at the Canadian Grand Prix two weeks ago and all received three-place grid drops.

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2023 Austrian Grand Prix

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Author information

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 “Verstappen keeps pole position as stewards clear him of impeding Magnussen”

  1. Seemingly a non-issue.

    1. Edit: As I expected

      1. notagrumpyfan
        1st July 2023, 8:55

        Is that an important addition?

        1. Yes. Yes it is.

  2. Martin Elliott
    30th June 2023, 19:12

    Who’s on the Stewards Panel at this event?

    1. Garry Connelly, Mathieu Remmerie, Walter Jobst and a strong claimant to the title of Impeding Champion – Enrique Bernoldi.

  3. Coventry Climax
    30th June 2023, 19:12

    That was Q1, and race control wait until after Q3 and beyond to come up with a decision?
    I’ll leave giving this the appropriate name to others.

  4. The Red Bull driver, who claimed his fourth consecutive pole position in today’s qualifying session, has been summoned to the stewards over an incident in Q1

    Q1?
    Really?
    I’m not a Max fan, but even I find it difficult to swallow that he had a Q1 incident that didn’t get flagged up until after the whole Qualy session was complete.
    The incident happened at a corner they were watching closely.
    Magnussen complained at the time, and it went out on the public transmissions.
    With no action at the time, people would assume that a quick check put them at a “no further investigation” state.

    1. They were busy checking for track limits.

      1. They were busy checking for track limits.

        I believe that was one of the few periods of qualy that Max didn’t exceed track limits :)

        I’m pretty sure there were gaps between Q1 and Q2 and between Q2 and Q3 where no one was exceeding any track limits.
        Like I said, I’m not a Max fan, and I’d be quite happy for him to be penalised for an infringement, but not in a significantly delayed fashion like that.

        1. So you’d rather that the stewards ignore a broken rule just because it wasn’t picked it up it soon enough?

          That sounds like making the problem worse, not better.

  5. He will not be penalised.

    1. The stewards have been very eager to penalize impeding before this season. But if they don’t, some will say Magnussen set a good time regardless, and others will note that they’re racing at the… oh right, Red Bull Ring. ‘Tis the way of things.

      1. Yep. Red Bull driver at Red Bull-owned circuit…

        1. Of course that’s why Perez list his laps…oh wait .

  6. If he stayed on the racing line and made no attempt to get out of the was then it is a different thing all together.

  7. There’s a video of it on Youtube – it’s clearly not costing Magnussen any time at all. Obviously as it’s Max, it’ll cause a bit of upset that he hasn’t been given a penalty but if it was anyone else, I think there’d be universal agreement that it was a non-issue.

  8. Pirelli was completely in the way
    (or insert the next F1 showbiz falling-apart tyre supplier)

  9. Impeeding is now not impeeding. Stewards saying Magnussen didn’t lose time because he didn’t have to take significant evasive action is a complete joke. The differences from being in Q2 and out was a mere 10th of a second and the time lost on Verstappen was something he needed to gain later hence overpushing into turn 9. And he wasn’t the only case of someone who should have been slapped with a penalty. Piastri was strolling about on the racing line right after the final corner which made Alonso evade while accelerating to the finish line.

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