Martin Brundle has criticised AlphaTauri for their failure to attend Max Verstappen’s hearing with the stewards after Singapore Grand Prix qualifying. Verstappen ultimately escaped punishment for a near-miss with Tsunoda on Saturday, with Red Bull’s sister team refusing to push for a penalty.
The reigning champion was summoned to the stewards over three separate cases of impeding. In one of those, the Dutchman left AlphaTauri star Tsunoda furious during Q2.
Verstappen appeared to clearly impede the 23-year-old and denied him the opportunity to reach the final round of qualifying. Tsunoda was seen fuming over the incident.
However, Verstappen was ultimately let off without a punishment – much to the surprise of many onlookers. Legendary reporter Brundle was unhappy that AlphaTauri – a sister team of Red Bull – did not attend Verstappen’s hearing.
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“Quite how Max Verstappen didn’t also get a penalty for impeding Yuki Tsunoda in qualifying when considering other penalties applied this season was a great surprise to many in the paddock, which I confidently predict includes the team and driver in question,” Brundle wrote for Sky Sports.
“That Tsunoda’s Alpha Tauri team didn’t send a representative to the hearing, albeit as the junior Red Bull team, was a sporting disappointment to me.”
The stewards justified not punishing Verstappen by saying: “Just prior to Tsunoda passing Verstappen, Verstappen saw the car behind approaching and moved to the left, however quite late.
“The team admitted that there was poor communication on its part and that it did not advise its driver until Car 22 was alongside.”
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Brundle was certain that Verstappen would be punished for impeding Tsunoda. He said at the time of the incident: “I’ll be amazed if Max doesn’t take a penalty for that with Tsunoda. Max isn’t happy and the car isn’t working for him, it just seems everything else is falling apart here.”
It was a surprisingly underwhelming weekend for Verstappen and Red Bull. His lengthy winning run came to an end, with a fifth-place finish the first time he has failed to finish on the podium this season.
He said of a potential punishment after qualifying: “At this point, it was so messy that it doesn’t matter if we start P11, 15th or last. It’s more important that we just understand why it was so bad. For me, that’s way more important than trying to score a couple of points this weekend.”
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