Formula One: 'Super-annoyed' Verstappen escapes Mexico penalty

Verstappen prepares to drive in the qualifying session for the Mexico Grand Prix.
Verstappen prepares to drive in the qualifying session for the Mexico Grand Prix.PHOTO: AFP

MEXICO CITY (AFP) - Max Verstappen escaped a penalty on Saturday (Oct 28) and kept his second place on the grid for the Mexican Grand Prix after a stewards' inquiry into an alleged blocking incident.

The 20-year-old Dutchman, who clashed with the stewards at last weekend's United States Grand Prix, was vindicated after he said he had not blocked Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes.

"What incident?" he said, when asked about the alleged impeding.

"I was on the inside, he was just doing his line and he locked up so there is no incident. There may be an investigation, but for me there was no incident."

Bottas came up on a slowing Verstappen on approach to the Turn 13 left-hander on his first flying lap in Q3 and locked up in the corner.

Bottas abandoned his lap and said afterwards that the Dutchman had "ruined my lap".

The stewards heard evidence from both men and their teams before deciding that they would take no further action.

Verstappen had said after qualifying that he was "super annoyed" at failing to land pole position for Red Bull as rival four-time champion Sebastian Vettel outpaced him for Ferrari.

If he had taken pole, he would have been the youngest pole sitter in the history of F1.

The outspoken young Dutchman said: "It would be really stupid (if I was penalised)...

"So I am super annoyed," he added.

"I don't know. Actually, in Q3 it just got a bit more difficult. I couldn't really get the tyres to work.

"Of course second is good, but not in the way it went. I gave it my all, of course, but today in qualifying it was just not enough.

"I really wanted that pole position, but at least we have a decent start position."