Max Verstappen suggests foul play after red flag in Monaco qualifying
Red Bull's Max Verstappen has slammed his teammate Sergio Perez for his 'irritating' crash in Monaco qualifying and has suggested that drivers could use foul play to force a red flag in sessions.
Saturday's qualifying session came to a premature end following a chaotic sequence of events in the final minute that saw three cars crash, with Perez losing control of his rear end in the final corner before the tunnel section and Carlos Sainz then did the same, hitting the stationary Red Bull.
Elsewhere on the track, Alpine's Fernando Alonso put his car in the wall and the red flags were waved, denying Verstappen another lap and an opportunity to potentially improve on his fourth-place start for Sunday's race.
That meant it was the second year in a row that the Monaco qualifying session has been brought to a close with a red flag, with Ferrari's Charles Leclerc crashing out last year – and his crash ensured he'd start on pole, though he ended up unable to start the race.
Verstappen has suggested that drivers could utilise that tactic to preserve their ranking in the session, as there isn't any punishment for crashing out.
“It is irritating and a pity of course that the one who put it in the wall was my teammate. But in the end, you don't get a penalty for that. So if you know you have a good first run, then you can think: ‘ah well, you know what, I'll park it and tactically send it into the wall.’ You could do that.”
There has been debate as to whether drivers should adopt red flag rules which would see drivers stripped of their best laps if they cause a stoppage, though further discussions have not come to fruition and, theoretically, could deliberately crash to preserve their timings.
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Given the vast costs that are accumulated for recovering and fixing Formula One cars after crashing out, alongside the budget cap for the season, it's highly unlikely that any driver would deliberately crash and incur those costs.
Ferrari's Leclerc starts in pole position for the Monaco Grand Prix, as he seeks to bring an end to Verstappen's three-race winning streak, and sits alongside teammate Carlos Sainz on the front row.
Perez sits third ahead of teammate Verstappen in fourth, with McLaren's Lando Norris in fifth and Mercedes' George Russell completing the third row.
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