Max Verstappen: Formula One race director explains why Red Bull driver lost his fastest lap point in Portugal

Formula One drivers were reminded of the track limits at Turn 14 at the Portuguese Grand Prix, race director Michael Masi has said, after Max Verstappen said it was “odd” that his fastest lap time was removed.

Verstappen thought he had gained an extra point for his time on the final lap of the race at the Algarve International Circuit but was told afterwards that it had been awarded to Valtteri Bottas because the Red Bull driver had exceeded track limits.

The Dutchman, who had pitted alongside Bottas to switch to soft tyres in an attempt to go for the fastest lap, replied: “That’s a bit odd because they were not checking track limits in 14, but whatever.”

Lewis Hamilton won his second race of the season to open an eight-point lead over Verstappen at the top of the drivers’ standings, but Masi explained after the race that the correct decision had been made.

“As per the event notes and following a review of what happened in Friday in particular, Turn 14 was being used far more,” Masi said. “So as a result I gave all the drivers the latitude to use the red and white kerb in a manner similar to Turn 5.

“They were told if they gained a lasting advantage out of reach of those [kerbs], being overtaking a car, faster in a mini-sector, whatever it may have been, that it will be looked at.

“And having looked at it post-race it was very clear Max was off-track and faster in that mini-sector than anyone and set the fastest lap of the race which is a world championship point.”

The decision compounded a frustrating weekend for Verstappen, after Mercedes locked out the front of the grid in qualifying before Hamilton passed him during the race on his way to securing his 97th career victory.


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