Max Verstappen will start Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix from pole position after the stewards opted to take no further action following a post-qualifying investigation.
Verstappen was investigated for impeding Haas driver Kevin Magnussen on the exit of Turn 1 during the first part of qualifying.
After reviewing video evidence and interviewing the drivers, the stewards determined that Magnussen did not have to take evasive action as a result of Verstappen’s presence and that no penalty was necessary.
“The driver of Car 1 [Verstappen] stated that he saw a car approaching after he crossed the line at the end of his push lap and moved to the left of the track after the exit of Turn 1,” a stewards statement said. “The driver of Car 20 [Magnussen] stated that he had to move to the right to avoid Car 1 and hence lost time on his fast lap.
“The stewards determined from the video (and audio) evidence that Car 20 had clipped the kerb in Turn 1 and that this subsequently caused a slight change in acceleration which in turn resulted in a slightly slower time on the next mini sectors. The stewards further determined that Car 20 did not have to take significant evasive action.
“We further note that the fact that the lap time of Car 20 was subsequently deleted (due to exceeding track limits at Turn 10) was irrelevant to this decision. Any incident is always investigated independently of other incidents or penalties.”
Magnussen radioed his team shortly after the incident to say, “Max Verstappen was completely in the way.”
Verstappen also radioed his engineer to ask, “He was on a fast lap?” in reference to Magnussen being behind.
No further action over the incident means Verstappen retained pole position for Sunday’s grand prix ahead of the two Ferrari drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.
Saturday in Austria will see a further qualifying session, known as the sprint shootout, which will set the grid for a 100km sprint race later the same day.
Max Verstappen keeps Austria pole position after stewards’ investigation