Full FIA stewards' verdict on Verstappen's Saudi GP F1 penalty

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Full FIA stewards' verdict on Verstappen's Saudi GP F1 penalty
© Andy Hone / Motorsport Images Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B, and Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12, make contact as they battle for the lead

The Stewards, having received a report from the Race Director, summoned (documents 39 & 40) and heard from the drivers and team representatives, have considered the following matter and determine the following:

No / Driver 33 – Max Verstappen

Competitor Red Bull Racing Honda

Time 22:19

Session Race

Fact Car 33 braked in a manner which caused a collision with Car 44 in turn 26.

Offence Breach of Article 2 (e) Chapter IV Appendix L of the FIA International Sporting Code.

Decision 10 second time penalty imposed after the race (10 seconds added to elapsed race time).

2 penalty points (total of 7 for the 12 month period).

Reason The Stewards heard from the driver of Car 33 (Max Verstappen), the driver of car 44 (Lewis Hamilton) and team representative, reviewed the video and telemetry evidence and determined that the driver of Car 33 was predominantly at fault.

At turn 21 the driver of car 33 was given the instruction to give back a position to car 44 and was told by the team to do so “strategically”. Car 33 slowed significantly at turn 26. However, it was obvious that neither driver wanted to take the lead prior to DRS detection line 3.

The driver of Car 33 stated that he was wondering why Car 44 had not overtaken and the driver of Car 44 stated that, not having been aware at that stage that Car 33 was giving the position back, was unaware of the reason Car 33 was slowing. In deciding to penalise the driver of Car 33, the key point for the Stewards was that the driver of Car 33 then braked suddenly (69 bar) and significantly, resulting in 2.4g deceleration. Whilst accepting that the driver of Car 44 could have overtaken Car 33 when that car first slowed, we understand why he (and the driver of Car 33) did not wish to be the first to cross the DRS.

However, the sudden braking by the driver of Car 33 was determined by the Stewards to be erratic and hence the predominant cause of the collision and hence the standard penalty of 10 seconds for this type of incident, is imposed.

Competitors are reminded that they have the right to appeal certain decisions of the Stewards, in accordance with Article 15 of the FIA International Sporting Code and Chapter 4 of the FIA Judicial and Disciplinary Rules, within the applicable time limits.

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