Hamilton urges authorities to punish Verstappen for not slowing down after crash

Max Verstappen pénalisé au Mexique

Lewis Hamilton called on Formula One's governing body to punish Max Verstappen for failing to slow down following Valtteri Bottas' late crash in Mexican Grand Prix qualifying.

Verstappen put his Red Bull on pole – and then admitted he ignored the double yellow flags which had been deployed after Bottas lost control of his Mercedes at the final corner.

The Dutchman was summoned by the FIA on the charge of ignoring the safety instruction.

Hamilton, who will win his sixth world championship here on Sunday if he outscores Bottas by 14 points, is due to start from fourth.

The Briton must finish at least on the podium to sew up the title. Bottas is expected to start from sixth with his Mercedes team confident they will fix his damaged car without incurring any penalties.

"It is really important that the FIA are very strict on double yellow flags," said Hamilton. "There could have been marshals on the track.

"These volunteers put their lives on the line to make sure drivers are safe on the road and you have got people who are being careless and not abiding by the rules.

"Max didn't need to stay flat-out, he had already got pole. The FIA need to be very strict on that.

"Luckily, there were no marshals on the track, but for all he knew Valtteri could have been in the middle of the circuit and the marshals could have been there.

"A double yellow flag means slow the f*** down, there could be a massive incident ahead. The fact that he ignored it is not great. Hopefully the right calls are put in place so the drivers need to know to respect these things."

The stewards chose initially not to investigate Verstappen, but launched a probe in the wake of comments made by the Dutchman in the post-qualifying press conference.

Asked if he had slowed down, the Red Bull driver replied: "Didn't really look like it, did it? No."

Moments earlier, Verstappen had claimed the second pole of his career to start as the favourite to seal a hat-trick of wins at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

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Mexico Grand Prix qualifying
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Mexico Grand Prix qualifying
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - OCTOBER 26: The broken car of Valtteri Bottas of Finland and Mercedes GP is seen in the wall after he crashed during qualifying for the F1 Grand Prix of Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on October 26, 2019 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)
Max Verstappen pénalisé au Mexique
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - OCTOBER 26: A reflection is seen in a marshals helmet as Alexander Albon of Thailand and Red Bull Racing is pushed back into the garage during qualifying for the F1 Grand Prix of Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on October 26, 2019 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - OCTOBER 26: Valtteri Bottas of Finland and Mercedes GP walks from his car after crashing during qualifying for the F1 Grand Prix of Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on October 26, 2019 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - OCTOBER 26: Fans during final practice for the F1 Grand Prix of Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on October 26, 2019 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Peter J Fox/Getty Images,)
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - OCTOBER 26: Alexander Albon of Thailand driving the (23) Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB15 on track during qualifying for the F1 Grand Prix of Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on October 26, 2019 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Charles Leclerc will start Sunday's Mexican Grand Prix on pole after Max Verstappen was given a three-place grid penalty.
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - OCTOBER 26: Valtteri Bottas of Finland and Mercedes GP walks from his car after crashing during qualifying for the F1 Grand Prix of Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on October 26, 2019 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen, of the Netherlands, competes in the qualifying session for the Formula One Mexico Grand Prix auto race at the Hermanos Rodriguez racetrack in Mexico City, Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Max Verstappen stripped of pole position in Mexico
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen, of the Netherlands, enters the pit lane during the second training session of the Formula One Mexico Grand Prix auto race at the Hermanos Rodriguez racetrack in Mexico City, Friday, Oct. 25, 2019. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen, of the Netherlands, drives out to the pit lane during the final practice session for the Formula One Mexico Grand Prix auto race at the Hermanos Rodriguez racetrack in Mexico City, Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
Lewis Hamilton considered fourth a "fighting position", but Max Verstappen's meeting with the stewards could boost the Briton further.
(L to R) Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel, of Germany, Red Bull driver Max Verstappen, of the Netherlands, and Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc, of Monaco, attend a press conference after the F1 Mexico Grand Prix qualifying session at the Hermanos Rodriguez circuit in Mexico City on October 26, 2019. (Photo by ALFREDO ESTRELLA / AFP) (Photo by ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP via Getty Images)
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - OCTOBER 26: Carlos Sainz of Spain and McLaren F1 prepares to drive in the garage during final practice for the F1 Grand Prix of Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on October 26, 2019 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - OCTOBER 26: Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner talks with Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing in the garage during qualifying for the F1 Grand Prix of Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on October 26, 2019 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - OCTOBER 26: Alexander Albon of Thailand driving the (23) Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB15 is pushed back into the garage during qualifying for the F1 Grand Prix of Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on October 26, 2019 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - OCTOBER 26: Sergio Perez of Mexico and Racing Point waves to the crowd during qualifying for the F1 Grand Prix of Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on October 26, 2019 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - OCTOBER 26: The Red Bull Racing team watch the action during qualifying for the F1 Grand Prix of Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on October 26, 2019 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - OCTOBER 26: Alexander Albon of Thailand driving the (23) Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB15 stops in the Pitlane during qualifying for the F1 Grand Prix of Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on October 26, 2019 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - OCTOBER 26: Romain Grosjean of France and Haas during final practice for the F1 Grand Prix of Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on October 26, 2019 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Peter J Fox/Getty Images,)
Track marshals are pictured during the quallifying session of the Mexican Grand Prix at the Hermanos Rodriguez circuit in Mexico City on October 26, 2019. (Photo by PEDRO PARDO / AFP) (Photo by PEDRO PARDO/AFP via Getty Images)
Mercede's Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas power his car during the F1 Mexico Grand Prix qualifying session at the Hermanos Rodriguez circuit in Mexico City on October 26, 2019. (Photo by RODRIGO ARANGUA / AFP) (Photo by RODRIGO ARANGUA/AFP via Getty Images)
Racing Point's Mexican driver Sergio Perez (R) and Renault German driver Nico Hulkenberg power their cars during qualifying session of the F1 Mexico Grand Prix at the Hermanos Rodriguez circuit in Mexico City on October 26, 2019. (Photo by ALFREDO ESTRELLA / AFP) (Photo by ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP via Getty Images)
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - OCTOBER 26: Fans cheer during qualifying for the F1 Grand Prix of Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on October 26, 2019 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Jaime Lopez/Jam Media/Getty Images)
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - OCTOBER 26: Sergio Perez of Mexico driving the (11) Racing Point RP19 Mercedes on track during final practice for the F1 Grand Prix of Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on October 26, 2019 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - OCTOBER 26: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W10 on track during qualifying for the F1 Grand Prix of Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on October 26, 2019 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
Ferrari's German driver Sebastian Vettel is assisted by members of his team during the F1 Mexico Grand Prix qualifying session at the Hermanos Rodriguez circuit in Mexico City on October 26, 2019. (Photo by Eduardo Verdugo / AFP) (Photo by EDUARDO VERDUGO/AFP via Getty Images)
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The Ferrari duo of Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel finished second and third with Hamilton one place back, half-a-second slower than the Red Bull driver.

Hamilton's Mercedes machinery is not suited to the high-altitude venue which sits a breathless 2,200 metres above sea level. He finished fourth last year and ninth in 2018.

His sole remaining challenger for the championship Bottas hit the wall before slamming into the advertising hoardings in the closing moments.

The Finn took a number of deep breaths on the radio and remained in his car for some moments, but eventually walked away from the accident. He was taken to the medical centre, and was given the all-clear.

"It was quite nasty actually in the end," he said. "I hit my knees together. It was a nerve thing, so for the first five minutes after the accident I couldn't feel my right knee but there is no pain now."

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff added: "The car is pretty damaged but we are 90 per cent confident we can fix it without any penalties. We got away with it. They are rebuilding it as we speak so we will know later tonight."

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