Verstappen on P2 after escaping Mexico penalty

Max Verstappen retained his place on the front row of the grid for the Mexican Grand Prix after the stewards took no further action for his alleged block on Valtteri Bottas.

The Dutchman felt there was no incident to comment on in the post-qualifying interview, but Bottas was adamant that he was restricted to just one run in Q3 because the Red Bull man impeded him heading into the stadium section.

But the panel of Tom Kristensen. Felipe Giaffone and Gerd Ennser agreed that Verstappen acted within the rules when backing out of his first hot lap attempt.

Their statement read: “The Stewards examined multiple angles of video evidence and radio calls to car 33, and heard from Max Verstappen, the driver of car 33, Valtteri Bottas, the driver of car 77 and the team representatives.

“The driver of car 33 was clearly aware from the team radio and using his mirrors that car 77 was approaching on a hot lap.

“He moved from the racing line on the exit of turn 12 to avoid impeding car 77.

“The driver of car 33 did move slowly from the racing line which could have affected car 77, but the Stewards do not consider this as impeding.”

Meanwhile, Verstappen said he was “super annoyed” after being pipped to his first pole position by Sebastian Vettel while strongly denying he had blocked Bottas.

The Dutchman was on provisional pole in Mexico but was knocked off top spot by Vettel who went 0.086 seconds at the death to clinch a 50th pole position.

“I’m super annoyed,” said Verstappen in the on-track interview.

“In Q3 it got a bit more difficult and couldn’t get the tyres to work. Second is good but not given the way it went.

“I really wanted that pole position.”

Verstappen then strongly refuted suggestions that he had impeded the Finn.

“There is no incident,” Verstappen told Sky F1.

“It’s his own problem if he outbrakes himself at the next corner. I was on the inside and didn’t hold him up.

“I moved to the inside and was past the point where you go to the right. I don’t see an incident.”