BUDAPEST, Hungary -- Max Verstappen has escaped punishment for impeding Romain Grosjean during qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix, meaning he keeps his spot on seventh on the grid.
During the final qualifying session, which was held in extreme wet conditions, Verstappen was caught by the Haas driver through the final corner. While Grosjean was on a fast lap of his own, Verstappen had been driving slowly to gain space to do his own timed attempt.
Grosjean, who ended up qualifying ninth after complaining the Dutch driver had "f---ed" him, said: "It cost me the last two laps. I lost 1.6 seconds on the lap I caught him and I tried to open a bit of a gap and start the next lap. I was so close and there was so much spray I couldn't see a thing."
Verstappen was initially summoned to the stewards for the incident. Shortly afterwards, it was confirmed he would not be penalised. The stewards reasoned that he had been trying to build a gap behind Pierre Gasly while Grosjean had been catching them.
The verdict stated: "While Verstappen was given reasonable, if slightly delayed information by his team, the Stewards took into account that with the very wet conditions, there was limited visibility ahead, and no visibility behind the drivers. The gaps between Gasly, Verstappen and Grosjean changed over a very short section of the track, and under the conditions the Stewards determined that the impeding was not, as the rule states, "unnecessary impeding" and therefore take no further action."
Red Bull endured a disappointing afternoon at the Hungaroring, a circuit it expected to excel on this weekend. Verstappen could only manage seventh position, while teammate Daniel Ricciardo was caught out by Lance Stroll's spin and ended up being eliminated from Q2.
Despite those expectations, Verstappen doubts Red Bull stood a chance of competing with Mercedes and Ferrari for pole position anyway, using his post-qualifying media session to take a swipe at engine supplier Renault.
"In the dry we had no chance to fight for pole. When you are losing seven, eight tenths on the straight in normal modes, not even the power mode yet, it's just way too much.
"lf you don't have the gear to do it, the material to do it, it doesn't work"
Verstappen is known for his prowess in wet conditions but he said he struggled to get the most out of the car on Saturday afternoon.
"The car was just not having a lot of grip, especially on the extreme tyres, we were really struggling but even on the intermediates it was not fantastic. I don't know why as otherwise we'd have changed it. No grip, sliding around."