BREAKING NEWS: Max Verstappen penalised three places, stripped of his Mexican GP pole

<i> Image: AFP / Andrej Isakovic </i>
<i> Image: AFP / Andrej Isakovic </i>
Andrej Isakovic

Mexico City, Oct -

Max Verstappen was stripped of pole position for the Mexican Grand Prix on Saturday after being slapped with a three-place grid penalty, race officials confirmed.

The Dutch Red Bull driver was sanctioned for not slowing down sufficiently following a horror crash involving Valtteri Bottas near the end of Saturday's qualifying.

Verstappen's penalty means Ferrari's Charles Leclerc will start on pole for Sunday's race ahead of team mate Sebastian Vettel.



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Verstappen had already done enough to secure pole earlier in qualifying before Bottas slammed into a trackside wall during a frantic finale.

Speaking after the session, Verstappen had acknowledged not slowing down after seeing the yellow flag.

Asked if he had obeyed the rules and reduced speed, he said: "It didn't look like it, did it?"

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner later voiced dismay at the decision to demote Verstappen from the front row.

"Max put in a phenomenal performance throughout qualifying," Horner said.

"He was quickest in Q1, second quickest in Q2 and quickest in Q3 to achieve his second pole position of the season.

"It is a great shame that Max has lost pole position and will now start from fourth place."


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