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Formula 1

Sainz escapes penalty over yellow flag drama in qualifying

The stewards have elected not to give Carlos Sainz a penalty after the yellow flag-related confusion in qualifying in Qatar.

Ferrari's Carlos Sainz has escaped without a penalty over allegedly failing to slow for yellow flags in Qatar.

The Spaniard was one of three drivers investigated after qualifying for a possible yellow flag transgression, after encountering the slowing AlphaTauri of Pierre Gasly as the French driver trundled down the main straight with a front-right puncture.

While Valtteri Bottas was given a three-place grid penalty, and Max Verstappen a five-place grid penalty, for ignoring the yellow flags, the stewards have determined that Sainz was not guilty of the same transgression.

"The stewards heard from the driver of Car 55 [Carlos Sainz], the team representative and have reviewed video, marshalling system and telemetry evidence," read a statement from the stewards.

"The driver stated that although he did not see the yellow flag, he did see that Car 10 [Gasly] was stationary on the right of the pit straight and therefore assumed that there was the probability that he was in a yellow flag area, so made a significant reduction in speed in the relevant mini-sector.

"The stewards confirmed this from the telemetry. He thus complied with the Race Directors' Event Notes and Appendix H of the International Sporting Code."

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