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.

Do you think Max Verstappen's penalty is fair? Email us.

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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