Formula 1

Max Verstappen Avoids Penalty for Potential Red Flag Offence in Zandvoort Practice

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Credit: Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Max Verstappen will not face any penalty for the Dutch Grand Prix after stewards at the Circuit Zandvoort summoned him for passing Lance Stroll on-track under red flag conditions on Friday afternoon.

The Red Bull Racing driver had been on a quick lap when the red flags flew at Zandvoort, and whilst slowing down, he passed the already slow-moving Stroll before returning to the pit lane at the correct speed.

Stewards looked at all the data and determined that Verstappen had done everything he could to slow down in a safe manner, and as such deemed that no penalty was applicable, meaning he can go into Saturday’s Qualifying session with pole position in his targets.  Had he been found guilty of the offence, a grid drop penalty could have been applied.

“The Race Management System indicates that the red flag and red lights were initiated at 15:10:12,” said a statement from the stewards at Zandvoort.  “When VER (Verstappen) passed Light Panel 14 (which is prior to the point of the overtake) it was not illuminated.

“As VER approached the rear of the car (within a few metres) of STR (Stroll), the red light on VER’s steering wheel activated.

“At this point VER’s speed was 260 km/h and STR’s was 110km/h, a delta of 150 km/h. At this point, telemetry shows that VER immediately lifted and braked.

“Because of the speed delta, VER’s momentum carried him past STR. Simultaneously the Light Panel 15 (showing red) became visible to VER. At approximately 15:10:17 the team radioed VER “Red Flag”.

“It is our conclusion that the driver of Car 33 took every reasonable action to comply with the regulations in that he immediately reduced speed in a safe manner at the earliest opportunity upon the first indication of the red flag, even before a red flag or red light panel was visible to him, and that this satisfies the requirements of the Code (Art b of Appendix H of the International Sporting Code).”

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