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Why FIA stripped Verstappen of fastest lap point

Why FIA stripped Verstappen of fastest lap point

F1 News

Why FIA stripped Verstappen of fastest lap point

Why FIA stripped Verstappen of fastest lap point

FIA race director Michael Masi is adamant it was "very clear" that Max Verstappen exceeded track limits in setting the fastest lap of the Portuguese Grand Prix.

In attempting to claim the point for the fastest lap of the race, Red Bull strapped a fresh set of softs onto Verstappen's RB14B on the penultimate lap.

On the final lap of the 66, Verstappen proceeded to set what appeared to be the fastest time, only for the lap to soon be deleted after running wide at turn 14.

In the immediate post-race interview, runner-up Verstappen smiled at his success, only to be informed his effort had been cancelled out.

The fastest lap went to MercedesValtteri Bottas, which led to Verstappen responding by saying: “That’s a bit odd because they [the FIA] were not checking track limits at 14 but...whatever!”

Masi, though, has refuted Verstappen's claim. He explained: “As per the event notes, and following a review of what happened on Friday in particular, turn 14 was being used far more than… it wasn’t an issue in 2020 but became one in 2021.

“So as a result I gave all the drivers the latitude to use the red and white kerb at that corner in a manner similar to turn five.

“However, they were told that if they gained a lasting advantage out of each of those [corners], of which there are a number of examples, [that] being overtaking a car, faster in a mini-sector, whatever it may have been, that it will be looked at.

“And having looked at it post-race it was very clear that Max was a) off the track, and b) faster in that mini-sector than anyone, and as a result got the fastest lap of the race which is a world championship point.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner had bemoaned what he felt were further "inconsistencies" with the policing of track limits across the weekend.

Aside from Verstappen's punishment, Horner felt Sergio Perez was also harshly treated after he was passed by McLaren's Lando Norris who had run wide at turn four on his way to executing the move.

Masi, though, gave that short shrift. He said: "That was reported by Red Bull during the race and was reviewed.

"Lando did not overtake Sergio at turn four outside of the track. It was a passing manoeuvre under brakes into turn five at the end of a DRS zone."

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