F1 Twitter stewards fail in attempt to strip British GP pole away from Max Verstappen

Oliver Harden
Max Verstappen (Red Bull) round a corner in the wet in final practice at the British Grand Prix. Silverstone, July 2023.

Max Verstappen (Red Bull) round a corner in the wet in final practice at the British Grand Prix. Silverstone, July 2023.

Armchair F1 stewards have failed in a Twitter campaign to have Max Verstappen’s pole position stripped for a yellow flag infringement at the British Grand Prix.

The reigning World Champion sealed his seventh pole in 10 races on Saturday at Silverstone, and will start ahead of McLaren pair Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri who impressed to secure second and third on the grid.

However, social media was set alight by a clip from Q1 that purported to show Verstappen overtaking George Russell, the Mercedes driver, under yellow flags at the end of the session.

F1’s rules prohibit drivers from overtaking under yellow and red flags, usually denoting cars stopped on track, in the name of safety.

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Valtteri Bottas had slowed at the end of Q1, parking his Alfa Romeo at the exit of Luffield corner to bring out the yellow flags, with Verstappen passing Russell on the Wellington straight at the time.

Fans pointed to a flashing panel at the side of the track, seemingly indicating a yellow-flag incident, but Sky Sports F1 pundit Karun Chandhok later clarified that this was in fact a white flag to warn drivers of a slow car ahead.

Verstappen and Russell did not reach the first yellow flag panel until rounding Luffield corner, by which point the overtake had long been completed.

Verstappen did not appear concerned by the possibility of an investigation after the session at Silverstone, telling Sky Italia: “It happened before the panel.”

In his analysis of the incident, Chandhok said: “I do think that was a white flag [on the Wellington straight].

“It is hard to tell with the cloud and the light at that point, but I think that was a white flag indicating Bottas was going slowly, [with] the yellow flag because he pulled over on the side of Luffield.”

Jenson Button, the 2009 World Champion, agreed that the incident was inconsequential, adding: “Even if it’s a yellow I don’t see the issue, because he’s in front when they get to the yellow.”

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