How Max Verstappen May Have Unintentionally Saved Lewis Hamilton From Disqualification

Published 11/13/2021, 2:04 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Brazilian Grand Prix – Jose Carlos Pace Circuit, Sao Paulo, Brazil – November 12, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen is interviewed after finishing second in qualifying REUTERS/Amanda Perobelli


Friday’s qualifying session at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix did have quite a few surprises in store, including the unexpected Mercedes dominance over Red Bull Racing; Max Verstappen pretty much looked like a minnow against Lewis Hamilton, as the latter went on to secure his second speed king award with ease.

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However, the action wasn’t over just yet, as the entire paddock sprung to life hours after the session. An announcement was going around that Hamilton had been summoned to the stewards over a potential DRS infringement.

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Apparently, his car had failed to adhere to the maximum length of the rear-wing flap, which is 85 mm. Hence, it almost looked like the Briton could face disqualification, meaning he would have to start the sprint from the back of the grid, or even worse, from the pit lane.

However, Mercedes were always going to find a way to defend their case. And guess who the Brackley outfit framed as the antagonist? Max Verstappen.

How Max Verstappen has potentially handed himself a penalty

The stewards adjourned the meeting with Mercedes and pushed the verdict to Saturday morning. And many wondered, why? But, then arrived the twist. A video was circulating around on social media, where Verstappen was seen checking the rear wing of car #44.

Had he not touched the car, Hamilton would have faced disqualification by now. However, now that Verstappen laid his hands on the car, which isn’t permitted in the parc ferme other than the FIA officials, Mercedes defended their case by reckoning the Dutchman may have tampered their rear wing.

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Hence, to receive clarity before imposing a hefty penalty on Hamilton, the stewards summoned Verstappen first thing in the morning. Of course, Verstappen’s touch was quite feeble, and it is impossible that the Red Bull driver could’ve tweaked the rear wing with such a mild scrape.

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Nevertheless, in doing so, Verstappen did break one of the parc ferme rules. So, by the looks of it, the result could go two ways. One, disqualification for Hamilton and a grid penalty for Verstappen. Or, neither of them receives a penalty and can start the sprint qualifying from the front row. Which is it going to be?

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Rohit Kumar

1419 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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