F1: Max Verstappen handed two reprimands but no grid drop

Red Bull's Max Verstappen during practice

Formula One F1 – Singapore Grand Prix – Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore – September 16, 2023 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen during practice REUTERS/Caroline Chia

SINGAPORE–Red Bull’s double Formula One world champion Max Verstappen was handed two reprimands in the space of one qualifying session but escaped a grid drop at the Singapore Grand Prix on Saturday.

The championship leader, who has won the last 10 races but qualified a shocking 11th, faced three stewards’ inquiries for alleged impeding after a nightmare under the Marina Bay floodlights.

Stewards gave him his first reprimand of the season for unnecessarily impeding cars exiting the pitlane, the Dutch driver waiting some 14 seconds to create a gap to the cars in front.

The second was for impeding AlphaTauri stablemate Yuki Tsunoda, with the representative of the Red Bull-owned sister team choosing not to attend the hearing.

Verstappen was cleared entirely of impeding Williams’ Logan Sargeant after the American told stewards he did not believe the champion was at fault.

Red Bull was fined 5,000 euros ($5,300) for the Tsunoda incident.

Carlos Sainz took pole position for Ferrari. Sainz’s lap of 1:30.984 seconds pipped the Mercedes of George Russell by 0.072 seconds and the second Ferrari of Charles Leclerc who was third, 0.007 seconds further back.

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