Max Verstappen will start the Qatar Grand Prix from P7 after being hit with a five-place grid penalty after stewards found he failed to slow for double waved yellow flags during qualifying.
Verstappen crossed the line with an improved time by around two tenths of a second, but was not able to dislodge Hamilton from pole, with the Dutchman remaining in P2.
But three hours after qualifying, Verstappen was issued a summons from the stewards for allegedly “not respecting double waved yellow flags”.
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The yellow flag was flown during the final segment of qualifying when Pierre Gasly ran wide at Turn 15 and dislodged his front wing, which also caused him to puncture his front right tyre.
Just hours before the start of the Qatar Grand Prix, Verstappen was handed a five-place grid drop and two penalty points - despite referees having "sympathy" with the Dutchman because of the "lack of display of the yellow light panels, no dash warning lights and no audio signal to the driver" to warn him of the issue.
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A statement from the referees said: "Notwithstanding the fact the team argued that the turning off of the yellow sector on the FIA marshalling system some 34 second prior to the driver reaching the yellow flag, signified that it was 'play on', it was the driver’s responsibility to take the appropriate action when entering what was a double yellow flag area.
The driver acknowledged his awareness of the presence of Car 10 on the right side of the track.
"Having seen a disabled car, it is reasonable to expect, as was the case of the driver of Car 55 [Carlos Sainz], that there was a potential danger and that a yellow flag situation probably existed and therefore to take the appropriate action (i.e. to reduce speed)."
Valtteri Bottas was also handed a three-place grid penalty for failing to slow under single waved yellow flags, but Carlos Sainz – who was also investigated for the same offence – has not been given a penalty.
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