F1: Championship leader Verstappen handed five-place grid penalty for Qatar GP

Red Bull’s Formula One championship leader Max Verstappen was handed a five-place grid drop at the Qatar Grand Prix on Sunday for failing to respect warning flags in Saturday’s qualifying.

The Dutch 24-year-old had qualified on the front row with title rival Lewis Hamilton taking pole position for Mercedes. Verstappen is 14 points clear of the seven-time world champion with three races remaining.

Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas, who finished third in qualifying, was handed a three-place grid penalty for failing to slow under single waved yellow flags and will now start from sixth.

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