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Max Verstappen

Verstappen avoids grid drop in Singapore stewards impeding verdicts

Max Verstappen was called to see the stewards in Singapore after three separate incidents at Marina Bay.

Verstappen Singapore
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen has avoided a Singapore Grand Prix grid penalty after stewards revealed their verdicts in three separate incidents, but has been reprimanded.

Verstappen was called for stopping at the pit-lane exit in Q1 and blocking George Russell and Lewis Hamilton, impeding Logan Sargeant later in the session and a final incident with Yuki Tsunoda on the exit of Turn 3 in Q2.

Verstappen was dumped in Q2 as Red Bull suffered a nightmare in Singapore, but the Dutchman has avoided further sanctions, and will start 11th at best.

In the Mercedes case, the stewards found that he stopped for 14 seconds at the pit-exit in what the stewards determined was an "extraordinary long time" as no "obvious advantage" was found and had the potential to negatively impact others.

For this, Verstappen was hit with his first reprimand of the evening, and season.

He received his second for the incident with Tsunoda - for which Red Bull was also fined €5,000.

Red Bull admitted to the stewards poor communication on its behalf, with Verstappen moving quite late to the left and off the racing line.

In making this verdict, the stewards considered a number of impeding and alledged impeding incidents from the 2023 season, and settled upon one they felt was in line.

As for Sargeant, this happened in the melee at the end of Q1, with cars fighting for space in the final sector.

Verstappen stayed in the middle of the track as he felt this was the safest thing to do given other cars were passing on the left and right.

The stewards accepted this, with Sargeant also believing no further action should be taken.

The decisions

For stopping in the pit lane,

The driver stated that he waited (approximately 14 seconds) to leave the Pit Exit in order to create a gap to the cars in front. The team representative explained that his gap was negated by Turn 5 due to other cars slowing on the out lap, whilst the car behind car 1 had increased its gap to 12 seconds. Whilst no obvious advantage was gained by the driver in waiting at the Pit Exit for what is deemed to be an extraordinary long time, the potential for this to negatively impact other drivers warrants a penalty. Whilst it is noted that the car behind could have overtaken car 1, it is preferable that cars depart the pit exit in an orderly manner.

F1 2023 Singapore Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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