Formula 1: Grand Prix of Qatar: Starting place penalty for Verstappen – Formula 1

Does this penalty cost him the world title?

Max Verstappen (24) receives a starting place penalty before the Grand Prix of Qatar (3 p.m. / Sky) – five places! The Dutchman starts the race from seventh instead of second.

The reason for the transfer: In the last section of qualifying, the Brause pilot ignored the double yellow flag that was triggered by the broken-down Pierre Gasly (25). In such cases, the drivers actually have to break off the lap. Verstappen didn’t.

Now he’s collecting the receipt! A major setback for the Red Bull driver, who himself was hoping for a 3-place penalty. Because: Overtaking is extremely difficult on the Losail track. In addition, title competitor Lewis Hamilton (36) is starting from pole position. THE chance for the seven-time world champion to significantly reduce his deficit (14 points) on Verstappen.

Small consolation: Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas (32), who was supposed to start directly behind Verstappen from third place, was also punished for ignoring the yellow flag, albeit only the simple one. The Finn received a three-place penalty and is now starting the race from fifth because he only loses two places in total due to the Verstappen penalty.

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz (27) also had to visit the racing referees for an alleged yellow flag offense. But he received no penalty.

Incidentally, Bruchpilot Gasly is starting from second place because of his accident. Fernando Alonso (40) starts third.

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