In apologies to Red Bull’s F1 competitors, the FIA acknowledges Max Verstappen’s penalty error.

In apologies to Red Bull’s F1 competitors, the FIA acknowledges Max Verstappen’s penalty error.

Verstappen was not given a grid penalty at last weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix after three separate allegations of interference with the Red Bull race were looked into by F1 stewards.

The FIA has apologized to Formula 1 teams and acknowledged that Max Verstappen ought to have received a grid penalty for the Singapore Grand Prix.

After qualifying at the Marina Bay Circuit, the Dutchman became the focus of no fewer than three different investigations.
The first two were for interfering with drivers on the track, and the third was for stopping in the middle of the pit lane during a session and causing a backlog of vehicles to move forward.

Verstappen received a warning for both the latter offense and obstructing Yuki Tsunoda, but no further action was taken in relation to the Logan Sargeant incident.
It was a surprising result at the time that he avoided a grid penalty for all three.

A clear-cut penalty for the Tsunoda incident appeared to be coming the Red Bull racer’s way.
A driver who is found to have interfered during qualifying typically moves down three grid positions.

But in this instance, the stewards thought a fine for the team as a whole would be more fitting. They decided that the fact that Verstappen had not been informed via radio that Tsunoda was approaching was sufficient mitigation for the Dutchman to avoid suffering as a sporting penalty.

Other team representatives, however, thought the decision was overly lenient and went to the FIA offices to express their displeasure.
The governing body has now acknowledged that one of the impeding offenses this weekend at Suzuka should have resulted in a three-place grid penalty.

Additionally, it was explicit that the incident would not serve as a guideline for future decisions regarding penalties. It will be removed from the database used by the stewards to choose how to proceed when evaluating a case.

Verstappen was able to pass his starting position of 11th and move up to fifth place in the race.
However, if he had begun the race in position 14, as the FIA has now ruled, he might not have been able to climb as high in the standings.

Red Bull anticipates that after that slip-up in Singapore, they’ll be back to their usual imperious selves at the Japanese Grand Prix.
Verstappen supported this claim by finishing comfortably first overall in both Friday practice sessions.

He later remarked, “It felt good today.
The car was enjoyable to drive right away, and it appears that we had a good day for both short and long runs.
It will be difficult in the race because of the high tyre deg. But the weekend is off to a good start.


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