The championship leader has been called to the stewards at 10am on Sunday to explain alleged breach of double-waved yellow flags rule; Verstappen improved on his final lap of qualifying, when Pierre Gasly’s car was stopped on pit straight, to consolidate second on grid behind Hamilton
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 20/11/21 6:10pm
F1 title leader Max Verstappen’s front-row starting position at the Qatar GP is under threat after he was summoned to meet with F1 stewards ahead of Sunday’s race for allegedly failing to slow for yellow flags on his final lap of qualifying.
The Red Bull driver, who leads the championship by 14 points, qualified second behind a dominant Lewis Hamilton but will now heads to the stewards at 10am UK time. The race is at 2pm.
Verstappen would almost certainly receive a grid penalty were the stewards to rule against him.
On the final laps of Q3, AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly stopped on the inside of the pit straight after his front tyre punctured.
Verstappen was the last driver on track in the session and improved on his final attempt to consolidate his second place on the grid.
“Not respecting double waved yellow flags,” said the stewards of the alleged offence when issuing the summons to Verstappen on Saturday night, nearly three hours after the incident in question.
What do the regulations say?
The alleged breach of the rules relates to both the FIA International Sporting Code and the race director’s event notes in Qatar.
“Any driver passing through a double waved yellow marshalling sector must reduce speed significantly and be prepared to change direction or stop,” reads Article 7.1 of the event notes this weekend.
“In order for the stewards to be satisfied that any such driver has complied with these requirements it must be clear that he has not attempted to set a meaningful lap time, for practical purposes any driver in a double yellow sector will have that lap time deleted.”
Verstappen lost a pole position in Mexico in 2019 when a three-place grid penalty was applied by stewards when he was found to have not slowed sufficiently for yellow flags when Valtteri Bottas crashed. Hamilton, meanwhile, was handed the same penalty in Austria for a similar offence last year.
More to follow…