David Beckham and other celebrities at Qatar Grand Prix - in pictures

Red Bull's championship leader Max Verstappen was handed five-place grid penalty for Sunday's race

There was considerable buzz on and off the track before the inaugural Qatar Grand Prix on Sunday.

Before the race started in Doha, Formula One stewards handed a five-place grid penalty to Red Bull's championship leader Max Verstappen in what was a blow to his hopes of beating title rival Lewis Hamilton in the race.

They also gave Hamilton's Mercedes team mate Valtteri Bottas a three-place penalty for failing to respect warning flags in qualifying.

The stewards found that Verstappen had failed to respect double yellow waved flags after Alpha Tauri's Pierre Gasly had stopped on the pit straight with a broken front wing and puncture.

Verstappen also had two penalty points imposed, taking his tally to four for a 12-month period.

There were a number of familiar faces at the track on Sunday to witness the drama. England star David Beckham, Fifa chief Gianni Infantino and footballer Nigel de Jong were among those present.

Updated: November 22nd 2021, 7:22 AM
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