Can Verstappen expect a penalty and how harsh would it be?
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Can Verstappen expect a penalty and how harsh would it be?

20-11-2021 18:20 Last update: 21:18

Max Verstappen could be expecting a penalty now that he has to report to the stewards for failing to reduce speed at the double yellow flags in Q3 of qualifying for the Qatar Grand Prix. But what kind of punishment can the current World Championship leader expect for such an offense?

Grid penalty on the lurk

A grid penalty is often given for failing to reduce speed during qualifying, combined with a number of penalty points on the driver's licence. Verstappen was given a grid penalty before for ignoring the double yellow flags. This happened in qualifying for the 2019 Mexican Grand Prix. At the time it came down to a penalty of three places.

However, the stewards also have the option to put a driver five places back on the starting grid. This was demonstrated at the start of the season when Sebastian Vettel was found guilty by the stewards of not reducing speed in Bahrain. He was even given three penalty points on his license.

Verstappen to stewards

An acquisition is of course also possible. As reported earlier, the dashboard of the RB16B did not show the signal that there was a double yellow. The Dutchman did not receive a message from Gianpiero Lambiase about the situation and the double yellow would not have shown up on the race control screen either.

There are examples of drivers who were not penalised by the stewards because the double yellow flags were not displayed on their dashboard. Nevertheless, Verstappen and a Red Bull representative will have to come up with a good story that proves Max's innocence. The scenario of a grid penalty of five places seems unlikely in any case, as Verstappen could not see everywhere that there was actually a dangerous situation.

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