In addition to the title battle between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, the grid penalties are often the most discussed topic within the Formula 1 world. Not everyone agrees with the decisions of the FIA and there is regular criticism of the penalties imposed on the drivers. For example, Verstappen and Bottas received a grid penalty in Qatar for ignoring yellow flags during qualifying.
Martin Brundle disagrees with the FIA and calls the penalties for Verstappen and Bottas heavy. “The FIA is generally doing a great job in the very complex world of F1, but they have had a couple of indecisive weeks since the infamous turn four incident between the title contenders in Brazil,” the former F1 driver said. Sky Sports.
It was a confusing situation on Losail. A marshal waved the yellow flags, but this was barely visible to the drivers. “I fully agree that yellow flags should be respected,” Brundle continues. “But from the cockpit, the drivers saw no visible flags, no warning lights on their steering wheel and no messages from the pitwall during their last qualifying attempt.”
“In the end it made little difference for Verstappen”
According to Brundle, there were ‘mitigating circumstances’, which meant that lighter sentences should be handed out. “I would have missed the relatively dimly lit marshal post. The fact that Carlos Sainz was acquitted because he let go of the accelerator after the stationary car (Pierre Gasly, ed.) underlines the confusion. But rules are rules, I think.”
However, the race result had not changed, Brundle has to admit. “In the end it made no difference to Verstappen, except that he lost every chance of an attack in the first corner.” The Dutchman eventually finished second behind title rival Hamilton.