At the U.S. Grand Prix on Sunday, Red Bull driver Max Verstappen climbed from 17th all the way into third after a grid penalty. But the podium Verstappen took away on the last lap didn’t last long, since Formula One race stewards decided his pass on Kimi Raikkonen wasn’t fair. Here’s that pass, from every angle.
After his incredible run from nearly the back to nearly the front of the field, this pass on the last lap at Circuit of The Americas put Verstappen on podium before knocking him down to a far less exciting fourth-place finish. Race stewards gave Verstappen a 5-second penalty for “leaving the track and gaining an advantage” on Raikkonen, and you can decide for yourself whether it was warranted:
That’s a hard call, honestly. It’s easy, and almost expected, to at least run over the rumble strips when you’re racing on a road course, making for a blurred line on what should and shouldn’t be called.
Somewhere like NASCAR at Talladega, for example, is easy—you can’t gain position below the yellow line on the apron of a four-turn oval track. But when you’ve got 20 turns and extra asphalt outside of the rumble strips, it’s a little harder to decide whether this is cutting the course or “using the full track.”
Either way, with how excited people were about Verstappen’s comeback run, they probably wouldn’t have noticed a non-call on this one.