Verstappen drops five places for breaking double yellow flag laws

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Verstappen was called to the stewards after a video clip surfaced from his car showing him not slowing down as he completed the lap.

The double yellow flags were raised in that area because Pierre Gasly’s Alpha Tauri stopped on the main straight after taking damage on the curbs.

The video showed a double yellow flag on the left side of the circuit, but the Red Bull driver did not slow down.

The article from the race management states that drivers must “significantly reduce their speed and be prepared to change direction or stop” in response to the double yellow flags.

After his meeting with the observers this Sunday afternoon in Qatar, the observers chose to direct the penalty of retreating 5 places to Verstappen.

The penalty is in line with that received by Lando Norris at last year’s Turkish Grand Prix for failing to slow enough for the double yellow flags in qualifying.

This penalty comes as a severe blow to Verstappen’s hopes of competing for the title with rival Lewis Hamilton, who will start from first place.

Verstappen had qualified second, but will now have to work his way up from behind to try to catch Hamilton.

Valtteri Bottas and Carlos Sainz Jr. also faced investigations for violating individual yellow flag laws. Bottas has already received a three place regression penalty.

On the other hand, Spaniard Sainz was acquitted of having “reduced his speed sufficiently in the relevant mini-section”.

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