Max Verstappen will start tomorrow’s Japanese Grand Prix from 18th place after being hit with a grid penalty for parking his Toro Rosso in a dangerous manner during qualifying on Saturday.
Verstappen suffered an electrical issue on his STR10 coming out of turn 11 at Suzuka, causing his car to lose power and come to a halt.
The Dutchman failed to park his car in a safe position that was out of the way of the oncoming cars, instead leaving it on the racing line.
This forced the marshals to issue double waved yellow flags that prevented all of the drivers behind from improving their lap times, causing some to drop out of qualifying as a result.
Verstappen managed to get through to the second session in P8, but the issue meant that he could take no part in Q2, leaving him 15th in the final classification.
The stewards looked dimly on his efforts to get the car stopped in a safe place, though, and opted to hand the 17-year-old a three-place grid penalty.
“Car 33 [Verstappen] stopped on the racing line in a potentially dangerous position,” the stewards wrote.
“The driver initially moved to the left side of the track towards a safe position and when it was about to stop, moved to the right onto the racing line, where it eventually stopped. This caused double yellow flags to be shown and endangered oncoming drivers.”
Verstappen was disappointed to have suffered the technical issue in qualifying, but remains upbeat ahead of his first grand prix at the iconic Suzuka circuit.
“Certainly not the best of days,” Verstappen said. “I had a sudden loss of power, all the electricity shut down in the hairpin and from there on I couldn’t do anything.
“It’s very frustrating, because the car was going very well, but in the end it is what it is. We might be on the back foot again before the race, but we never give up.
“Hopefully tomorrow we have a bit more luck and can enjoy a good race – it would be good if some rain spices it all up! Our objective will be to finish within the top ten. We have to do some overtaking again, but I’m ready for it!”
The Japanese Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 12:30am ET on Sunday.