David Croft defends Max Verstappen amid calls for him to be penalised

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen dominated the third race of the season, leading from lap 12 until the chequered flag despite multiple red flags.

Max Verstappen stormed to his second victory of the season around the Albert Park Circuit with another dominating display by the Red Bull driver.

While Verstappen’s performance was impressive, the race is more likely to be remembered for the safety car and red flag chaos that resulted in multiple restarts.

On the second restart, eagle-eyed fans thought they spotted a breach of the rules by Verstappen, calling for him to be penalised over what they saw as an unfair advantage.

Lining up under the start lights, Verstappen’s car appeared to be outside of his grid box, which would be in violation of the FIA’s rules.

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Both Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso have been penalised this season for similar actions, receiving five second penalties for lining up incorrectly within their grid box.

If Verstappen was handed a five second post race penalty, because the race ended under a safety car procedure, he would be relegated from the points and lose his lead in the Drivers’ Standings.

With Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez finishing in fifth, a penalty for the Dutchman would mean the Mexican leads the Drivers’ Championship for the first time in his Formula 1 career.

However, Sky Sports commentator David Croft has rejected any possibility of Verstappen being penalised over the situation, claiming that “Max wasn’t outside the grid box.”

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“His tyres were making contact with the white line. If you are over the line, then it’s a penalty,” Croft said. “If you are touching it then you are fine. If you are outside, it’s a penalty.”

With Verstappen having celebrated his 37th Grand Prix victory, alongside Lewis Hamilton in P2 and Alonso in P3, it appears there is no intention by the FIA to overturn the result.

At the end of the race, no investigation had been announced into the incident and no team appears to have raised an objection.