Max escapes action for alleged Grosjean block

Date published: July 28 2018

Max Verstappen: Was called to the stewards

Max Verstappen has avoided a grid penalty for an alleged block on Romain Grosjean in Hungary – but will still line up in a rather disappointing P7.

A wet track, Verstappen behind the wheel of a Red Bull, and on a track which plays to the RB14’s strengths, should have really seen the Dutchman in the mix for pole position.

But Red Bull did not emerge as a major player in qualifying, with Daniel Ricciardo a shock departure in Q2 and Verstappen only mustering a time good enough for P7.

Carlos Sainz and Pierre Gasly even managing to qualify ahead of him.

Verstappen’s miserable day could have got worse after being called to the stewards after being cited for a potential block on Haas’ Romain Grosjean.

But he has avoided any further action from the stewards:

“The Stewards examined video and audio evidence of the incident. The Stewards heard from Max Verstappen, the driver of car 33, Romain Grosjean, the driver of car 8 and the team representatives.

“Verstappen was on a fast lap but then caught Gasly early in the lap. He then aborted the lap. Grosjean who was on a fast lap, was catching Verstappen.

“He was six seconds behind at Turn 11 and four seconds behind at Turn 13. Verstappen was close to Gasly going into Turn 13.

“At this point Gasly set up for his flying lap and Verstappen in turn slowed to get a gap. Grosjean caught Verstappen between Turn 13 and Turn 14 which impeded Grosjean.

While Verstappen was given reasonable, if slightly delayed information by his team, the Stewards took into account that with the very wet conditions, there was limited visibility ahead, and no visibility behind the drivers.

“The gaps between Gasly, Verstappen and Grosjean changed over a very short section of the track, and under the conditions the Stewards determined that the impeding was not, as the rule states, “unnecessary impeding” and therefore take no further action.

“Competitors are reminded that they have the right to appeal the decisions of the Stewards (with the exception of those referred to in Article 12.2.4 of the FIA International Sporting Code), in accordance with Article 15 of the FIA International Sporting Code and Article 9.1.1 of the FIA Judicial and Disciplinary Rules, within the applicable time limits.

“On his own disappointing session, Verstappen said: “It just did not go well.

“No grip and then in the rain there’s not much you can do. The whole year it doesn’t go very well in the rain. Also, during the restarts, when the tyres are cold, we can’t keep up. Just look at Baku and Hockenheim.

“Compared to last year where we would go on track and set three purple sectors it is different now. The car just does not work and I do not know what it is.”

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