Max Verstappen escapes penalty

Max Verstappen was slapped with just a reprimand following three investigations into potential impeding in Singapore.

Max Verstappen started the Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday from 11th on the grid, after escaping a potential grid penalty following three separate investigations.

It was a qualifying session to forget for Verstappen and for Red Bull in general, as the Austrians had both cars eliminated before Q3 for the first time since the 2018 Russian Grand Prix.

The Milton Keynes-based team have struggled throughout the weekend, with Verstappen having warned ahead of the event that the RB19 isn’t as suited to street tracks.

His warning was clearly necessary, given how poor the outfit have performed.

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Neither Verstappen nor Sergio Perez looked like Q3 contenders, with the latter having spun on his final hot lap in Q2.

Verstappen had provisionally put himself into P10, only for AlphaTauri stand-in Liam Lawson to dump the Dutchman out of the session.

On just his third qualifying appearance, Lawson was remarkably the highest driver from the Red Bull family.

The reigning World Champion could’ve easily been the lowest, given that he was summoned to the stewards after the session for three separate incidents of potential impeding.

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Two of the incidents occurred in Q1, with the first having taken place in the pit-lane.

Verstappen sat at the end of the pit-lane for several seconds, forcing the likes of Charles Leclerc and George Russell to stop behind him.

The second incident saw the 25-year-old cruising on the racing line, before suddenly darting out of the way of Logan Sargeant.

The third incident took place in Q2, where he clearly got in the way of Yuki Tsunoda, who was forced to back out of his lap as a result.

A three-place grid drop is usually awarded per impeding case, meaning Verstappen was facing a potential nine-place drop.

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However, he escaped with just a reprimand, whilst Red Bull were fined €5,000 for “poor communication”.

Many feel that the Red Bull driver was incredibly lucky to escape a grid drop, given that other drivers have received grid penalties over recent years for similar incidents.

Regardless, he has a mountain to climb in the race to extend his record-breaking winning streak to 11 races, something which looks like an impossible feat.