Max Verstappen fined over misdemeanour as he escapes costly incident

Max Verstappen was clocked at 86.4 kph in an 80 kph zone, as he returned to the pitlane during a practice session at the Australian Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen had a tricky series of incidents during the practice sessions around the Albert Park Circuit, as he was penalised by the stewards and had a risky spin on track.

While Formula 1 drivers normally strive for speed, Verstappen, who has shown a dominant pace over his rivals, suffered the wrath of sporting officials when he was recorded travelling at 86.4 kph down the pitlane,.

Breaching the 80 kph speed limit saw Verstappen get hit with a £615 fine, although he will not face any sporting penalties over the offence.

The reigning world champion and current leader in the Drivers’ Standings had another scary moment around the street circuit when he had a spin during practice.

READ: Max Verstappen conspiracy theory emerges after Sergio Perez’s victory

Fortunately, Verstappen’s quick reactions meant he was able to avoid a disastrous exit from the session, regaining control of the car.

Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez didn’t have an easier time in Melbourne, as he also shot off the track at one point, also avoiding incurring any major damage. 

Williams’ Logan Sargeant had the toughest start to the weekend of all, losing power in his car and parking it up on the side of the track, bringing the red flags out.

Verstappen will be hoping that his luck changes in qualifying and on Sunday, finally taking victory in a race that he has never won. 

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In 2022, despite qualifying in P2, Verstappen had to retire from the Australian Grand Prix due to a fuel leak. 

READ: Max Verstappen accuses Sergio Perez of lying

The only time Red Bull has taken the chequered flag in Australia was with Sebastian Vettel in 2011. 

In FP1, Verstappen wrapped up the second with the fastest lap of the session, followed by the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton in P2.

However, the Dutchman was swiftly reminded of the looming threat of Aston Martin when Fernando Alonso claimed the fastest lap in FP2.