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Pole sitter Verstappen summoned to stewards for ignoring yellow flags

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Mexico City (AFP)

Max Verstappen was summoned to see the stewards at the Mexican Grand Prix on Saturday after telling a news conference that he had ignored yellow flags following Valtteri Bottas's high speed crash in qualifying.

The Dutchman had claimed the second pole position of his career for Red Bull with a record lap in the final seconds of the session when the flags, indicating drivers should slow down, were waved.

Other drivers on flying laps, including world champion-elect Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes and the two Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel eased up when they saw the flags.

Bottas, of Mercedes, crashed at the final Peraltada curve on his final lap.

Verstappen told reporters at a news conference that he had not lifted and added: "I think we know what we are doing otherwise we wouldn't be driving an F1 car. It's qualifying and you go for it. If they want to delete the lap, then delete the lap."

He was found to have ignored yellow flags during qualifying at the 2018 Russian Grand Prix where he was handed a three-place grid penalty.

If he is handed a similar penalty by the Mexican stewards, it could lift defending five-time champion Hamilton up the grid after qualifying fourth -– potentially boosting his hopes of clinching his sixth world title on Sunday.

Bottas's heavy accident left his car severely damaged and likely to require new parts that may also result in grid penalties, possibly forcing him to start from the back of the grid or from the pit lane.

Hamilton can seal his sixth title on Sunday if he finishes on the podium and outscores Bottas by at least 14 points.

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