Did Verstappen nearly get away without qualifying penalty? FIA confirms
FIA race director Michael Masi rejected the notion that Max Verstappen's Mexican GP qualifying infringement was only investigated due to comments he made in the post-session press conference.
Verstappen was stripped of pole position after failing to slow for yellow flags that were waved following Valtteri Bottas' crash at the end of Q3.
While it was immediately clear that Verstappen had improved his lap time while passing through the caution zone, news was slow to filter through of any investigation, with some media told that one would not take place as Verstappen's mini-sector time had not improved.
However, Verstappen was almost boastful when admitting that he had not lifted off while aware that he was passing a stricken car and a three-place penalty followed more than three hours after the end of qualifying.
Verstappen's summons also took a long time to arrive, but Masi said that was purely down to the circumstances involved, and did not suggest that Verstappen almost got away with his transgression.
"By the time I referred it to the stewards, and told the stewards that the matter's to be looked at, it was after that that Max's comments came to light," he said.
"We were actually looking into it straight away, but with the sequence of what happened, the primary thing was Valtteri's health, getting the Medical Car out there, making sure that he was all OK.
"So, being at the end of the session was one part. The second part, once that happened, was obviously getting the car back to the team.
"The third element [was] repairing the circuit for the next activity. So as part of my role as the safety delegate, I went out there to make sure that everything was back in position."
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