Red Bull’s championship leader Max Verstappen was handed a three-place grid penalty for his role in the frightening crash with Lewis Hamilton in Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix, the stewards at Monza announced.
The Dutch driver was “predominantly to blame” for the incident that wiped him and his Mercedes rival out of the race won by McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo, a statement read.
The penalty will be applied at the Russian GP.
Verstappen, who leads Hamilton by five points, had tried to muscle past Hamilton who had just rejoined the track after a pit-stop.
But Verstappen’s car, pushed onto the kerb at the Turn One chicane, ended up with its back wheel rolling over the top of his rival’s Mercedes, narrowly missing Hamilton’s head.
Both drivers then slid into the gravel and were forced to retire.
In the stewards’ verdict after interviewing both drivers, although Hamilton’s line forced Verstappen onto the kerb, the Red Bull man had attempted the manoeuvre too late for him to have “the right to racing room”.