Verstappen given five-place grid penalty for Qatar Grand Prix

Max Verstappen has been handed a five-place grid penalty for Sunday’s Qatar Grand Prix and can begin the race from seventh, along with his Method One world title rival Lewis Hamilton on pole place.

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The Dutchman, who leads Hamilton by 14 factors within the standings with three races remaining within the season, has been penalised for “not respecting” double waved yellow flags throughout qualifying.

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Verstappen had certified in second initially, however might be changed on the entrance row by Alpha Tauri driver Pierre Gasly.

Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas was additionally slapped with a three-place grid penalty and can begin from sixth.

The Finn was penalised for “not slowing down” underneath yellow flags throughout Saturday’s third qualifying session, which Hamilton dominated.

The information is a serious blow to Verstappen’s hopes of a maiden world championship crown and offers Hamilton a lift in his bid for a record-breaking eighth title.

Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso has been promoted from fifth to 3rd on the grid, with McLaren’s Lando Norris becoming a member of the veteran Spaniard on the second row.

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