Verstappen could be hit with a grid penalty for Qatar GP
Red Bull driver, Max Verstappen, could be hit with a grid penalty by the FIA after an incident that occurred in the Q3 session for the Qatar Grand Prix, today, Saturday, November 20.
Pierre Gasly had pulled his Scuderia AlphaTauri over after suffering a tyre blowing out. Despite the marshalls clearly waving yellow warning flags, the Dutchman refused to slow down and passed the incident at full throttle. He eventually finished second on the grid behind rival Lewis Hamilton, missing out by just 0.455s.
It is mystifying why the FIA could not make an immediate decision over a blatant rule break by Verstappen. Instead, for reasons unknown, their verdict will be announced tomorrow, Sunday 21, the same day as the race.
Currently topping the driver’s table, any grid penalty will seriously dent his chances of winning his first F1 world title. Seven-times world champion Hamilton is lying in second, 14 points short of Verstappen, so the Mercedes driver is going to benefit immensely from any grid penalty that might be imposed.
The FIA has no standard penalty for this break of the rules, but in a previous instance, for a similar offence, during the 2020 Austrian GP, Lewis Hamilton was handed a three-place grid penalty. If this was the case then it would see Verstappen pushed back into fifth place on tomorrow’s starting grid in Qatar.
“That last lap was beautiful. It was a really sweet lap. This track is amazing to drive. Woo, it felt good!”, enthused the Brit as he exited his Mercedes after the Q3 session ended. Verstappen meanwhile was a little less excited, “I think we’re just lacking a bit of pace, it’s just been a bit more tricky for us. Checo (Perez) is not even in Q3, so it shows that we are struggling a bit more than normal”, as reported by thesun.co.uk.
— it's in God's hands (@SinSinner44) November 20, 2021