Formula One championship leader Max Verstappen has been hit with a five-place grid penalty at the Qatar grand prix after ignoring yellow flags during Saturday’s qualifying session.

The Red Bull driver was set to start second on the grid alongside title-rival Lewis Hamilton, who stormed to pole position to gain the upper-hand for Mercedes in Doha.

Now Hamilton has a chance to close the 14-point gap to Verstappen in the drivers’ championship with the Dutchman starting seventh at the Losail International Circuit.

Verstappen drops back as a result of an incident at the end of qualifying, where a puncture for the AlphaTauri of Pierre Gasly caused confusion on track and he did not slow down sufficiently under double-waved yellow flags.

The second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas – who qualified third – was hit with a similar punishment, only taking a three-place penalty as he failed to slow under single-waved yellows.

The sanctions mean Gasly will now start alongside Hamilton.

Five place grid penalty for Verstappen
Source 1


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