Verstappen Exonerated of Obstructing, Secures F1 Austrian GP Pole

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Following an investigation by the stewards at the Red Bull Ring, Max Verstappen has been cleared of impeding Kevin Magnussen in Q1.

During an intense qualifying session plagued by track limit penalties, the Red Bull driver emerged victorious, clinching pole position.

However, hours after the session ended, the FIA stewards announced that Verstappen was under scrutiny for an incident involving Magnussen.

After a thorough examination of the incident and conversations with both drivers, the stewards concluded that no further action was required.

It was determined that Verstappen had made reasonable efforts to make way, whereas Magnussen’s performance in Turn 1 was far from optimal.

In a concise statement, the stewards explained, “Upon crossing the line at the end of his push lap, Car 1’s driver noticed an approaching car and promptly shifted to the left side of the track after exiting Turn 1.”

“Car 20’s driver [Magnussen] confirmed that he had to veer right to avoid Car 1, resulting in lost time during his fast lap.”

The stewards reviewed video and audio evidence and found that Car 20 had grazed the kerb in Turn 1, causing a slight change in acceleration and consequently a marginally slower time in the subsequent mini sectors.

Additionally, the stewards determined that Car 20 did not have to take significant evasive action.

While Magnussen’s lap time was invalidated due to a separate track limits violation, the stewards clarified that this did not influence their decision.

“We emphasize that the deletion of Car 20’s lap time (due to exceeding track limits at Turn 10) has no relevance to this verdict. Each incident is independently investigated, irrespective of other incidents or penalties,” they stated.

Verstappen’s exoneration ensures his pole position for the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday, with Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, both from Ferrari, starting behind him.

Read Also:
Perez: Q2 exit highlights flaws in F1’s track limits system
Verstappen criticizes F1 drivers’ handling of Austria track limits
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