Max Verstappen has been stripped of his Mexican Grand Prix pole position after race stewards handed the Red Bull Racing driver a three-place grid penalty for failing to slow for single waved yellow flag at the end the third segment of qualifying at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodriguez.
Moments from the end of the Q3 in Mexico City, Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas crashed at the final corner, Turn 17. Verstappen was following the Finn on track and seconds later crossed the line to claim his second career pole.
However after the session the race stewards summoned the Dutch driver and after hearing from the driver and a team representative and having “reviewed video, audio and telemetry evidences which clearly showed that the driver attempted to set a meaningful lap time and failed to reduce his speed in the relevant marshalling sector” they would be imposing “a drop of three grid positions at the driver’s next race [Mexico] and two penalty points”.
Expanding on their decision the stewards pointed out that “the driver of Car 33 admitted that he was aware that car 77 (Valtteri Bottas) crashed and did see the car on the left hand side of the track, but was not aware of the waved yellow flag. He also admitted not reducing his speed on the yellow sector. The Stewards noted from the on board images of Car 33, that the waved yellow flag was clearly visible and was shown with enough notice. The previous driver (Car 5) reduced the speed significaly as per the regulations.”
Verstappen will now start tomorrow’s Mexican Grand Prix from fourth place on the grid. Charles Leclerc is promoted to pole position with team-mate Senastian Vettel second on an all-Ferrari front row. Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton will start third.