Max Verstappen snatched pole position for the Mexican Grand Prix 2019 ahead of Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel. However, as the saying goes, “It ain’t over till the fat lady sings”, and it most certainly isn’t over. There is a huge possibility that the Dutchman may have failed to slow down when Valtteri Bottas crashed out.
Speaking in the post-qualifying press conference after qualifying, he admitted that it didn’t look like he slowed down. At the same time, he also confessed that he was aware of Bottas’ crash late in the session. Some TV replays even showed the marshals waving yellows in that sector.
Now, protocol says that in a double yellow flag situation, a driver is supposed to abort their lap. The lap time gets deleted and a penalty is imposed, as per normal procedure. According to an onboard from Sebastian Vettel, the yellow flag could be seen. Improving the sector under yellow is normally a (grid) penalty plus 2 penalty points on license.
In theory, Max Verstappen could get away if he can prove that he lifted off significantly. Judging by the lap time, there was zero backing off, so it remains to be seen if he gets a penalty.
The yellow flag was not displayed on the digital board, however, a physical yellow flag was clearly flying to Verstappen’s left at that final corner. However, the Dutch driver has come under fire for putting himself, Valtteri Bottas and the nearby marshals in danger.
Now, the FIA will be taking another look at Verstappen’s data following his provocative comments in the press conference. The Red Bull driver has also been summoned by the stewards to explain his actions.
The burning question now is, will Max be penalised, and if so, how many places will be drop? This is because, in all honesty, it was a dangerous situation
— Patrick Moeke (@PatrickMoeke) October 26, 2019