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Formula One fans were left astonished after Max Verstappen escaped without a grid penalty for three separate incidents after his disastrous qualifying session in Singapore on Saturday. The Dutchman endured a disappointing practice session and then failed to improve in qualifying, eventually being knocked out in Q2.
The runaway champion failed to reach Q3 for the first time this year as Red Bull underwhelmed significantly at Marina Bay, with Verstappen being investigated for three separate incidents of alleged impeding. The Red Bull star impeded a train of cars in the pitlane upon their exit in a bid to hold up his rivals. He was reprimanded for the first time this season.
Verstappen was then hit with a second reprimand for blocking Yuki Tsunoda in Q2, which also saw his team handed a £4,300 (€5,000) fine for the incident. The 25-year-old managed to escape without any punishment for his third incident when he was viewed to have blocked Williams’ Logan Sargeant.
Despite the trio of aforementioned incidents, Verstappen avoided a grid penalty ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix. The Dutchman will start in 11th on the grid, with team-mate Sergio Perez back in 13th as Red Bull prepare themselves for a recovery mission on Sunday.
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However, F1 fans were stunned that Verstappen was not penalised even further for his antics in qualifying. One spectator (@YouLikeMyPace) wrote on X (Twitter): “This is literally a disgrace. The Tsunoda incident was the most clear grid penalty in history.”
Another (@katielovesf1) added: “That incident with Tsunoda is the clearest grid penalty I’ve ever seen since I started watching the sport. What a joke.” One user (@marktyrelluk) also questioned: “How can you get two reprimands in a row in the same session and no penalty?”
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Many Verstappen fans were openly shocked by the news, with some feeling that their driver had been let off lightly by the higher powers in the sport. Another user (@davide_b88) wrote: “This is absolutely disgusting. I like Max and he’s one of the greats of our time, but today he had at least 2 extreme penalties that in other races and drivers were dished out.
“He can’t stop in the pit lane. He stopped. He impeded a bunch of drivers. How is that not a penalty.”
It remains to be seen whether Verstappen is able to overcome starting 11th on the grid. He has won all of the last 10 races.
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