Formula 1 Racing

Verstappen and Norris avoid grid drops for practice incidents · F1 · RaceFans

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Monaco, 2024

Max Verstappen and Lando Norris have avoided grid penalties after being investigating for incidents which occured during the final practice session.

The stewards gave the world championship leader a formal warning for slowing to a crawl as he approached the start/finish line at the end of the session. Although his speed was “extremely slow”, the stewards ruled it was not dangerous.

The Red Bull driver abandoned his final flying lap after encountering traffic in the third sector. His race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase then told him to “take the chequered flag.”

As the session hadn’t ended, Verstappen had to reduce his speed significantly so he did not reach the start/finish line before the chequered flag was waved. Data from FOM indicates he braked three times between the final corner, Anthony Noghes, and the start/finish line.

The Red Bull driver pulled over to the far left-hand side of the circuit where oncoming cars were able to see him clearly. His speed dropped as low as 20kph at this time, at a point on the track where he exceeded 250kph on his previous flying lap. His speed remained low until the lights on the starting gantry turned red, indicating the session was over, at which point Verstappen picked up his pace to cross the line.

According to the stewards, Verstappen told them he “saw on the TV screens that there were 20 seconds left till the end of the session. He then proceeded to move off the racing line at the exit of turn 19 [Anthony Noghes] and stayed to the extreme left, well off the racing line till he took the chequered flag for the session. While doing so, he travelled extremely slowly, at times at speeds as slow as 20kph.

“While what he did was not dangerous and did not impede other drivers, he was driving unnecessarily slowly on the start finish straight and that is a breach of Article 33.4 of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations. We therefore issue a warning to the driver of car one [Verstappen] for this breach.”

Charles Leclerc reduced his speed in a similar manner at the end of yesterday’s second practice session but was not subject to an investigation.

Norris also avoided a grid penalty after the stewards investigated his incident with George Russell during final practice. The McLaren driver moved close to his rival at the exit of the tunnel after being held up by the Mercedes driver.

The stewards “determined that car four [Norris] deliberately moved towards car 63 to express his displeasure at his lap being…

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