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Formula 1

Verstappen cleared of impeding Magnussen and keeps Austria pole

by Josh Suttill
2 min read

Max Verstappen has kept his Austrian Grand Prix pole position after he was cleared of allegedly impeding Kevin Magnussen in Formula 1 qualifying.

Verstappen was called to the stewards a couple of hours after he claimed his sixth grand prix pole position of the 2023 F1 season, having topped all three segments of qualifying at the Red Bull Ring.

The stewards were investigating a Q1 incident where Magnussen found Verstappen in his path on the exit of Turn 1 before the Red Bull driver moved to the left to leave the way clear for Magnussen to complete his flying lap.

The stewards determined no further action was necessary after hearing from “Verstappen, Magnussen, team representatives and reviewing positioning/marshalling system data, video, timing, telemetry, team radio and in-car video evidence”.

Verstappen said he saw a car approaching him as he crossed the start/finish line at the end of his flying lap and moved to the left of the track on the exit of Turn 1.

For his part Magnussen said he had to move to the right to avoid Verstappen and “hence lost time on his fast lap”.

The stewards appeared to disagree with this in their review of the events.

“The stewards determined from the video [and audio] evidence that Magnussen had clipped the kerb in Turn 1 and that this subsequently caused a slight change in acceleration which in turn resulted in a slightly slower time on the next mini sectors,” read the decision aspect of the report.

“The stewards further determined that Magnussen did not have to take significant evasive action.

“We further note that the fact that the laptime of Magnussen was subsequently deleted [due to exceeding track limits at Turn 10] was irrelevant to this decision.

“Any incident is always investigated independently of other incidents or penalties.”

The decision means Verstappen will still start Sunday’s grand prix from pole position ahead of the Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.

Magnussen will line up 19th after a miserable Q1 in which a downshift issue left him “in the wrong gear for Turn 3” and proved costly for his chances of advancing to Q2.

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