Max Verstappen sends message to FIA following Las Vegas Grand Prix penalty

Thomas Maher
Max Verstappen racing his Red Bull during the Las Vegas Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen was given a five-second time penalty early in the Las Vegas Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen was unimpressed by the stewards giving him a five-second time penalty early in the Las Vegas Grand Prix.

The Dutch driver seized the lead of the Las Vegas Grand Prix at the start, muscling his way past Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc at Turn 1 in a questionable move.

Verstappen kept his car alongside the inside of Leclerc, running wide through the corner to push Leclerc onto the escape area – Verstappen himself also having to slowly recover from the escape area kerbs through the incident.

Max Verstappen given five-second time penalty

With Leclerc taking to team radio to say the incident needed to be “addressed right now”, Red Bull told Verstappen that they felt he was sufficiently alongside Leclerc to be able to keep going in the lead.

But the stewards opted to take a look, and decided to award Verstappen a five-second time penalty.

Race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase took to the team radio to tell his driver, saying: “You have been given a five-second penalty for that incident, but you’re already two seconds ahead behind so just keep eking out that gap to the stop.”

Verstappen made it clear he wasn’t that happy about the situation, saying: “Yeah that’s fine, send them my regards!”

While Verstappen managed to open a lead of two seconds after the Safety Car, Leclerc took back the lead on Lap 16 after stalking down the Red Bull. Verstappen promptly pitted for fresh tyres and serve his penalty, resuming the race in 11th place although plenty of others still have to pit.

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