Max Verstappen given two penalty points on his licence following Sochi qualifying

F1 Grand Prix of Russia

Max Verstappen was handed two penalty points on his licence and a third grid penalty on Saturday after ignoring yellow flags during qualifying for the Russian Grand Prix.

The Dutch Red Bull driver, who turns 21 on Sunday, took no notice of the flags when Russian Sergey Sirotkin spun his Williams.

Verstappen told the stewards he had acted safely, but was given a three-place grid penalty and two points on his licence, taking him up to seven.

A driver who has 12 points in a year is banned for one race.

The stewards gave their verdict, according to "The driver admitted seeing the yellow flag and stated that he steered to the left to avoid the stationary car.

"However, the regulation is very clear and states 'it must be evident that a driver has reduced speed'. "The telemetry shows that the driver maintained full throttle and did not apply any braking. "In his defence the driver expressed the view that he felt he had acted safely.

"[We] noted that the driver understood the error in not slowing and acknowledged that in future he will comply with the regulations. "However in view of the emphasis now placed on compliance with yellow flag regulations, in the interests of safety, the stewards have applied the usual penalty for this offence."

While acknowledging that the driver had attempted to act safely, they maintained that the regulations are clear and must be followed.

F1 Grand Prix of Russia - Practice

Verstappen comes from a family of racing drivers, including his father Jos who also drove in F1, and he will now start at the back of the grid.

However, as he was already due to start from the back, after being penalised for power unit and gearbox changes, this is unlikely to cause him any great concern.

The Dutchman has already admitted that finishing in the points would be deemed a successful race.

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