World Championship leader Max Verstappen has kept hold of Japanese Grand Prix pole position after an investigation by Formula 1 stewards into the Qualifying incident with Lando Norris. Verstappen, who can win a second World Championship in Sunday's race, set a 1m:29.304s effort in Q3 after a scary near miss with Norris on the Q3 first run out-laps at 130R. He swerved across to block the McLaren as Norris was starting his own quick lap, forcing the British driver onto the grass to avoid a high-speed collision. The stewards found Verstappen not to be in breach of Article 33.4 of the Sporting Regulations - that he drove slowly, erratically or dangerously. He has been handed a reprimand - his first of the season with the grid remaining unchanged. Norris qualified 10th.
In their verdict, the stewards found that a lack of tyre temperature on Verstappen's car caused him to "temporarily lose control causing it to 'snap' anti-clockwise," as he accelerated at the same time Norris went to overtake. "The driver of car 4 [Norris] stated that this was simply an unfortunate incident however it is the driver’s responsibility to at all times maintain control of their car," read the verdict. Taking into account similar previous breaches of Article 33.4, the stewards felt a reprimand was the appropriate penalty for the Red Bull driver.