Max Verstappen was given a five-place grid penalty after qualifying in Qatar for ignoring yellow flags. Pierre Gasly suffered a blowout and had to park his car on the long straight, after which a confusing situation arose. In the latest RacingNews365 podcast, Tom Coronel and Ruud Dimmers discuss the incident.
“The strange thing was, you don’t give a yellow flag if someone drives slowly”, Coronel kicks off. “Then you give a white flag. It was a slower vehicle on the track and not even on the ideal line. It was all the way on the inside. In this case it is a mistake by the FIA, they make one themselves mess of.”
Nevertheless, the yellow flag was waved, making a grid penalty inevitable for Verstappen. “It’s always the same, you never win this. Yellow is yellow and if the yellow is waved, they just catch you. They have to do that through safety considerations. I think if the FIA makes a mistake, they It is best to say ‘sorry guys, we are wrong and we have to waive this penalty’, especially for the championship.”
Verstappen and Bottas did not see overzealous marshal
Dimmers understands that Verstappen should be penalized, but agrees about the messy actions of the FIA in Qatar. “As Tom already says, if there is yellow, you have to turn off your gas”, he adds. “It just wasn’t right what they were doing. Red Bull has already said to the stewards: there was no yellow. Not according to the computer, not according to the dashboard and not according to the lamps.”
“There was only one overzealous marshal left. Max and Bottas hadn’t seen him yet.” Coronel and Dimmers believe that the drivers have been penalized too hard in this situation by incorrectly waving the yellow flag. “I find it striking that the drivers are always the jack. But yes, double yellow was unnecessary and the penalty even more so,” said Coronel.
Verstappen started the Qatar GP after taking the grid penalty from seventh place. According to Dimmers, this gave him zero chance of winning over Losail. “Fortunately, after a few laps, the places were regained, but the chance of a victory was gone. Lewis Hamilton was already the fastest, but otherwise you could at least have made a rocket start.”
Listen to the entire podcast below.