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Bottas takes three-place grid drop for Qatar Grand Prix after yellow flag infringement

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Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas will take a three-place grid drop for Sunday’s Qatar Grand Prix, having been deemed to have failed to slow under single waved yellow flags in Saturday’s qualifying session at the Losail International Circuit.

Bottas took P3 on the grid after qualifying, behind team mate Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

READ MORE: Verstappen hit with five-place grid penalty for Qatar Grand Prix

But the Finn will now take a grid drop, having admitted to the stewards in a hearing held on Sunday afternoon that “he did not notice the yellow flag displayed at Flag Point 16.6 and… did not reduce speed as required in the yellow flag area”, according to the stewards’ decision – with AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly having pulled up on the pit straight with a puncture after running wide at Turn 15.

Bottas also received a penalty point on his licence.

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Alex Brundle analyses Verstappen and Bottas' yellow flag infringements in Qatar qualifying in F1 TV's Pre-Race Show

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz was also called to appear before the stewards for the same offence as Bottas, but the Spaniard was not given a penalty, with the stewards acknowledging he "made a significant reduction in speed in the relevant mini-sector".

STRATEGY GUIDE: What are the possible race strategies for the Qatar Grand Prix?

Meanwhile, Verstappen was another driver called to appear before the stewards for an alleged failure to slow under double waved yellow flags in qualifying, with the Dutch driver receiving a five-place grid drop and two penalty points in a move that further shifted around the grid for Sunday’s race, which starts at 1700 local time.

Bottas will now start the race from P6, with Verstappen P7 and Sainz in P5 – while Gasly is promoted onto the front row alongside Hamilton, and ahead of Fernando Alonso and Lando Norris on row two.

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