in a Formula 1 World Championship like the current one, in which we are witnessing a duel on the edge of the thousandths for the leadership of the Drivers’ classification between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, each point has and will have an importance of incalculable proportions.
The balance between Mercedes and Red Bull is proposing a scenario that is difficult to predict at the beginning of the year, but which is igniting a season that seemed to be a transition towards the new course, the new technical regulation that will come into force starting from 2022.
Also for this reason yesterday as many as 3 riders from the top 4 of the Portuguese Grand Prix made an extra stop, in the final laps of the race, to try to get the fastest lap and take home one more point than the position could allow them. occupied under the checkered flag.
Among these was also Max Verstappen. The Dutchman of Red Bull, aware that he could no longer recover seconds on Hamilton and that he was no longer joined by Bottas, entered the pits 2 laps from the end and mounted a set of Soft tires. On the last lap he set the fastest lap of the race, taking an extra point in addition to 18 for second place.
At the end of the race, however, the stewards evaluated the last lap of the Red Bull talent, noting an infringement made at Turn 14. For this they decided to sanction him, taking away his fastest lap and the additional point he won.
At the end of the race, F1 race director Michael Masi explained the reasons for the decision taken by the race marshals regarding Verstappen’s fastest lap.
“Among the communications given to the riders at the start of the event, following a review of what happened on Friday in particular, Turn 14 was used a lot more than last year. In 2020 it wasn’t a problem. , but it became so in 2021, so according to what we saw, I gave clear instructions to the drivers to use the red and white curb in exactly the same way as Turn 5. “
“However, the drivers were also told that if they gained a lasting advantage from a turn 14 exit, such as overtaking a single-seater, a faster driver in that mini-sector, whatever it might be, would be examined “.
“At the end of the race it was very clear that Max was: a) off the track. But also that b) he had been the fastest in that mini-sector. Consequently he set the fastest lap of the race, which would have guaranteed him a point in the World Cup “.
Masi also clarified once more what is the procedure that leads to the penalization of an infringement committed on the track and what its role is in this procedure.
“All violations of the track limits that are penalized are the decisions imposed by the stewards. I watch, examine and make a note to the race stewards. Then they are the ones who impose the penalties and the cancellation of lap times”.