It now seems a tradition that qualifying Saturday should not end with the waving of the checkered flag at the end of Q3. If last weekend in Brazil, at the end of the session played on Friday, it was necessary to wait until the following day to know the decision of the commissioners regarding the disqualification of Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes (and the 50,000 euro fine for Max Verstappen) , today it was the Dutchman of Red Bull who sparked a new case.
It all happened in the final minutes of Q3. Pierre Gasly, who passed at great speed on the curb on the outside of Turn 15, broke the front wing of his AlphaTauri and the debris caused the puncture of the front right.
The Frenchman managed to control the car until he reached the finish straight and then parked near the pit lane wall.
The marshals displayed the double yellow flags on that section of the circuit, but the luminous panels on the inner side of the track did not indicate any dangerous situations.
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B
Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images
Max thus decided not to lift his foot and lower his reference by a few tenths thus confirming the second time behind Lewis Hamilton, and the same decision was made by Esteban Ocon (Alpine), Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes), Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) and Lando Norris (McLaren).
The panel of commissioners, made up of Garry Connelly, Tim Mayer, Emanuele Pirro and Amro Al Hamad, has decided to summon the Red Bull driver to hear his explanations about the incident.
At the end of the session Sebastian Vettel, who correctly lifted his foot from the accelerator when he saw the flags displayed, expressed strong doubts about how to interpret the regulations.
“We discuss the rules at each GP, sometimes things go one way, sometimes another: I had a tough penalty in Bahrain even though I didn’t see a yellow flag. When a car stops on the track, a double yellow must be displayed for me. I interrupted my tour, I don’t know what happened behind me… “.
Verstappen, however, is not the only driver under investigation. Carlos Sainz and Valtteri Bottas will also have to present themselves to the commissioners for not slowing down in the presence of the yellow flag, but the Spaniard and the Finnish will be heard tomorrow morning.