Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen are both set to take grid penalties for tomorrow’s Canadian Grand Prix, creating a somewhat confusing situation at the back of the field.
Verstappen entered the weekend with a five-place grid penalty hanging over his head after his run-in with Romain Grosjean in Monaco, and was hit with a further drop following an engine change on Saturday.
Adding up to a drop of 15 positions, Verstappen needed to qualify inside the top five to be able to serve the entirety of his penalty and avoid a further sanction in the race on Sunday.
The Dutchman finished 12th in Saturday’s qualifying session, meaning that he could only theoretically serve eight places of the penalty, leaving seven more to be dealt with.
As a result, Verstappen will have to serve a ten-second stop/go penalty during tomorrow’s race at his first scheduled pit stop.
Sebastian Vettel’s qualifying session proved to be the stuff of nightmares as he dropped out in Q1 thanks to a lack of power on his engine. He was then hit with a five-place grid penalty for passing Roberto Merhi under a red flag in practice and also given three penalty points.
Jenson Button failed to take any part in qualifying after McLaren changed the engine on his car, meaning that the stewards had to give their discretion for him to race on Sunday. Although it was never really in doubt, it is still mandatory for them to do so when drivers finish out of the 107% time.
As a result, Button is either to start last or from the pit lane, making him relatively simple when it comes to working out the starting position.
It did appear that Vettel was to actually start behind Verstappen on Sunday. Although Verstappen’s penalty is larger, Vettel’s looked set to be applied after the Dutchman’s due to the order in which the infringements occurred.
However, the stewards have now spoken, issuing a provisional grid for the race on Sunday with Vettel ahead of Verstappen and Button.
…not before there were a few struggles among those trying to work it out.
The Canadian Grand Prix is live on NBC from 2pm on Sunday, with F1 Countdown kicking off on NBCSN from 1:30pm on NBCSN.