Abu Dhabi GP: Max Verstappen four penalty points away from F1 ban

Max Verstappen is four penalty points away from a Formula 1 race ban after being given three points and two time penalties for separate Abu Dhabi Grand Prix incidents

Abu Dhabi GP: Max Verstappen four penalty points away from F1 ban

Toro Rosso's rookie driver had already notched up two penalty points for his collision with Romain Grosjean in Monaco and another three for driving too fast during a safety car period in Hungary.

In Abu Dhabi, he went into the run-off in the complex at the end of the Yas Marina track's first long straight while overtaking Jenson Button's McLaren for 12th late on.

Stewards gave Verstappen a five-second time penalty and one penalty point for "leaving the track and gaining an advantage" in that incident.

He then had a further 20s added to his race time and was given another two penalty points when the officials judged that he had ignored blue flags for a lap while second-place finisher Lewis Hamilton was trying to lap him.

The combined punishments dropped him from 12th to 16th in the results and took Verstappen's penalty point tally to eight - with a race ban triggered if a driver reaches 12 in a 12-month period.

Before the penalty points were imposed, Verstappen said he concluded during the Button incident that his best option was to just try to pull away.

"We touched wheels, I ran wide. But I was clearly faster so I just continued," he said.

"I opened the gap more than five seconds. It doesn't matter.

"If you finish 12th or 16th it doesn't matter because you don't score points."

He was also puzzled that his driving when being lapped by Hamilton was under the spotlight.

"I don't know why it's under investigation," said Verstappen.

"It's happened many times before where it was that close - for me it was not even that close."

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