Max Verstappen won his third drivers championship during Saturday’s sprint, finishing second, while McLaren driver Oscar Piastri grabbed his first Formula 1 victory.
Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc and Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll were given five second penalties during the sprint race for repeatedly leaving the track at the Formula 1 Qatar Grand Prix on Saturday.
The track limits at the Qatar Grand Prix has been the talk of the town after Formula 1’s governing body FIA on Saturday announced they had been moved by 80cm at turns 12 and 13 on the circuit in Lusail. These changes to the track came about after Pirelli found tears in their tyres.
Such issues on a race weekend have not happened since 2005 at the United States Grand Prix, where many drivers had to abandon the race because of tyre issues.
Speaking to media, Pirelli Motorsport Director Mario Isola said:
“We analysed the sets and we saw an indication that there was, in the construction of the tyre on the sidewall, a small separation between the [tyre] carcass corridor and the topping compound.”
Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc, finished seventh in the sprint, but fell to twelfth, and dropped out of a points position, while Stroll went from 13th to 15th after the penalty.
The race stewards determined the penalty and released a report stating the reason ‘The car left the track on four (4) occasions without justifiable reason’.
Speaking to Sky Sports, the Monegasque driver stated:
“Today was will about enduring. Sunday is where we score the biggest points.”
Leclerc’s penalty pushed Williams driver Alex Albon up to seventh and gained two beneficial points for his team.
The Qatar Airways Qatar Grand Prix comes to a conclusion on Sunday, although the drivers champion has already been confirmed as Max Verstappen, many drivers such as Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri will be looking to replicate their fine form and attain podium finishes.