Additional reporting by PA
Formula One stewards fined Red Bull's championship leader Max Verstappen €50,000 after he touched and examined the rear wing of title rival Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes following the Sao Paulo Grand Prix qualifying.
The Dutch 24-year-old, who leads seven times world champion Hamilton by 19 points with four races left, qualified second for Saturday's 100km sprint race that determines the starting grid for Sunday's grand Prix at Brazil's Interlagos.
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However, Hamilton is also under investigation after he finished fifth in final practice.
The seven-time world champion is under investigation for an alleged technical breach, and could be dropped to the back of the grid if he is disqualified from Friday’s qualifying result.
That would promote Verstappen to top spot and deal a huge blow to Hamilton’s championship chances.