Max Vertsappen will keep his Suzuka pole position after race stewards at the Japanese Grand Prix handed the F1 world championship leader a reprimand following his incident with Lando Norris during the final segment of qualifying for tomorrow’s race.
Verstappen was running slowly when he appeared to suffer a loss of control and slid left just as Norris was moving to pass the Red Bull driver at speed.
Ruling on the incident the race stewards said: “The driver of car 1 was aware of car 55 in front and car 4 approaching from behind and decided to accelerate at precisely the same time as car 4 decided to overtake car 1. Unfortunately, due to lack of tyre temperature on car 1, the driver temporarily lost control of the car causing it to ‘snap’ anti-clockwise.
“The driver of car 4 stated that this was simply an unfortunate incident however it is the driver’s responsibility to at all times maintain control of their car.
Regarding penalty, all previous breaches of this nature have resulted in a Reprimand hence a similar penalty is imposed in this case.”
Verstappen will thus start from the front of grid ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.