Verstappen cleared of impeding Magnussen, keeps F1 Austrian GP pole

Max Verstappen has kept his pole position for Formula 1’s Austrian Grand Prix following an investigation into alleged impeding.

Pole man Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, gives a thumbs up

The Dutchman had been summoned to see the stewards at the Red Bull Ring for holding up Kevin Magnussen in Q1.

The Red Bull driver had secured pole position during a frenetic qualifying which was overshadowed by a spate of track limit penalties.

But nearly two hours after the chequered flag, the FIA stewards announced that Verstappen was under investigation for an incident with the Haas driver.

However after looking into the matter, and speaking to both drivers, the stewards decided that no further action was necessary.

It was felt that Verstappen had done as much as he could to get out of the way, while Magnussen’s run through Turn 1 had been far from ideal.

In a short statement, the stewards said: “The driver of Car 1 stated that he saw a car approaching after he crossed the line at the end of his push lap and moved to the left of the track after the exit of Turn 1.

“The driver of Car 20 [Magnussen] stated that he had to move to the right to avoid Car 1 and hence lost time on his fast lap.

“The Stewards determined from the video (and audio) evidence that Car 20 had clipped the kerb in Turn 1 and that this subsequently caused a slight change in acceleration which in turn resulted in a slightly slower time on the next mini sectors.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

“The Stewards further determined that Car 20 did not have to take significant evasive action.”

While Magnussen’s lap time was ultimately deleted because of a later track limits penalty, the stewards issued a reminder that this had no bearing in their decision.

“We further note that the fact that the lap time of Car 20 was subsequently deleted (due to exceeding track limits at Turn 10) was irrelevant to this decision. Any incident is always investigated independently of other incidents or penalties,” they said.

The stewards’ decision means that Verstappen starts from pole position for Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix, ahead of Ferrari duo Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.

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