F1 championship leader Max Verstappen could face a grid penalty after being summoned by stewards for allegedly failing to slow when warning flags were waved during his final qualifying lap at the Qatar GP.
Formula One championship leader Max Verstappen could face a grid penalty after being summoned by stewards for allegedly failing to slow when warning flags were waved during his final qualifying lap at the Qatar Grand Prix on Saturday.
The Dutch 24-year-old qualified second, with title rival Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes on pole position.
Stewards said in a statement that Verstappen and a team representative were to report to them at 12 noon (SA time) on Sunday. The floodlit night race is due to start at 4pm.
The yellow warning flags – under which drivers must reduce speed significantly and be prepared to stop – were double waved after AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly lost his front wing and suffered a puncture, stopping on track.
— Formula 1 (@F1) November 21, 2021
Verstappen completed his final lap after Gasly’s incident and improved his qualifying time.
He leads seven-times world champion Hamilton by 14 points with three races remaining.
Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, who was seventh on the provisional grid, was also summoned to the stewards at 1.30pm local for allegedly not respecting a single-waved yellow.
Aston Martin four-times world champion Sebastian Vettel said he had slowed for yellow flags and lost out as a result.
“I don’t know if it was a single yellow or double yellow, but if there’s a car standing on track, then it should be a double yellow. And double yellows are ‘abort the lap’ so I lifted. Maybe I was the only one,” he told reporters.
The German also suggested Verstappen had been helped by the signalling.
“It’s a bit of a shame because I had the yellow flag in the last sector and then the yellow flag cleared, I guess, because Max was coming,” he said.