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FIA admits 'mistake': 'Verstappen should have been penalised in Singapore'

FIA admits 'mistake': 'Verstappen should have been penalised in Singapore'

22-09-2023 11:23 Last update: 16:36

Ludo van Denderen

The FIA has indicated that it was a mistake to reprimand Max Verstappen a week ago for holding up other competitors during qualifying. Looking back, the world champion should have been given a penalty, Motorsport.com heard.

Verstappen was involved in several incidents in Singapore. Most notable was blocking Yuki Tsunoda in qualifying. Verstappen himself said immediately afterwards that he expected (and deserved) a penalty. Yet no grid penalty came, but it remained a reprimand. This led to surprised faces in the paddock. In the run-up to the Japanese Grand Prix, several drivers looked back to the incidents with Verstappen. For instance, Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc said a penalty should have been handed out and questioned the inconsistency of the race management.

'Verstappen should have been three places backwards'

The issue came up at the team bosses' meeting on Friday. At Suzuka, Matteo Perini, one of the stewards at Singapore and also at Suzuka, admitted that a retrospective reprimand was wrong. Instead, he should have been given a three-place grid penalty, team bosses were told.

Not Verstappen, but his team Red Bull Racing was sanctioned. The team was fined €5000 for not informing him over the radio about the oncoming Tsunoda.