Max Verstappen avoids grid penalty after lengthy Mexican GP investigation

Sam Cooper
Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen was one of three drivers spared an impeding penalty.

Max Verstappen, George Russell and Fernando Alonso have all avoided a penalty for an alleged impeding offence during qualifying.

The Red Bull car could be seen sat at the front of the pit lane, blocking those from coming behind him, and while drivers must meet a minimum lap time, that timer does not start running until they reach the second safety car line which is after the pit lane.

Russell’s W14 could also be seen doing the same thing shortly before race control announced they would be looking at a similar alleged offence from Alonso as well.

In Singapore, Verstappen got away with a reprimand for a similar offence but the FIA later admitted that was the wrong call so it was expected that if found guilty, the drivers will be given a grid penalty for Sunday’s race.

However, the FIA deemed no further action necessary with the stewards admitting that the incidents took place as a result of the minimum lap time rule that was in effect.

They deemed that it was better to have cars backing each other up in the pits rather than out on track and therefore cleared all three drivers in an investigation that concluded three hours after the session was over.

Those three were not the only ones summoned to the stewards with Lewis Hmailton also in potential trouble for allegedly failing to slow under yellows.

Having analysed Hamilton’s on board data, they found that he did go slower in the relevant mini-sector and he too was cleared.

The only party to actually receive a punishment was Alfa Romeo after Zhou Guanyu was found to be speeding in the pit lane. As a result, the team were fined €500.

Logan Sargeant is also potentially in trouble for overtaking Yuki Tsunoda under yellows.

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