Verstappen handed further penalty but remains second

05/12/2021
NEWS STORY

Adjudged as causing a collision with Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen has been handed a further 10s time penalty but keeps his second place.

Having heard from both drivers and their team representatives, and reviewed the relevant video and telemetry evidence, the stewards determined that Verstappen was predominantly at fault for the incident on the 38th lap of today's Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

At turn 21 the Red Bull driver was given the instruction to give back a position to Hamilton and was told by the team to do so "strategically".

Verstappen subsequently slowed significantly at Turn 26. However, it was obvious that neither driver wanted to take the lead prior to DRS detection line 3.

Verstappen told the stewards that he was wondering why Hamilton had not overtaken, while the world champion stated that, not having been aware at that stage that Verstappen was giving the position back, was unaware of the reason why he was slowing.

In deciding to penalise Verstappen, the key point for the stewards was that he braked suddenly (69 bar) and significantly, resulting in 2.4g deceleration.

Whilst accepting that Hamilton could have overtaken him when he first slowed, the stewards understood why he (and Verstappen) did not wish to be the first to cross the DRS line.

However, the sudden braking by Verstappen was determined by the stewards to be erratic and hence the predominant cause of the collision and hence the standard penalty of 10 seconds for this type of incident, was imposed.

In addition to the 10s time penalty - which does not affect the result of the race - Verstappen was handed 2 more penalty points bringing his total for the 12 month period to 7.

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Published: 05/12/2021
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