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DOHA, Qatar – World Championship leader Max Verstappen (Red Bull) has been penalized five points on the grid and will start seventh in the Formula 1 Grand Prix Qatar on Sunday, for failing to slow under a double yellow flag in qualifying on Saturday.
At the end of qualifying, the Dutchman didn’t slow down despite the danger posed by the fixed one-seat Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) after a hole, the marshals reported.
Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) qualified in third, and was penalized by three places for disrespecting a simple yellow flag. Thus, Gasly will be second, in the first row alongside Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), second in the championship and still in first place.
The start of Qatar’s first Formula 1 sports race will be presented at night, at the Losail Circuit, a few kilometers north of the capital, Doha.
Behind Gasly, who will start his career for the first time in his career from the first row, Fernando Alonso (Albin) and Lando Norris (McLaren) also benefit from penalty shootouts via Verstappen and Bottas to move up to the second row.
Carlos Sainz (Ferrari), seventh, climbed to fifth. The Spaniard was also under investigation for reasons similar to Bottas’s, but the commissioners made it clear that he had “significantly” reduced his speed, as stipulated in the regulations.
After winning in Brazil last Sunday, Hamilton slipped to 14 points behind Verstappen. After Qatar, F1 will discover Saudi Arabia (December 5) and travel to Abu Dhabi (December 12) to finish this record season of 22 races.
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