Verstappen investigated for rule breach after touching Hamilton’s Mercedes

Max Verstappen is under investigation from the F1 stewards after he was seen analysing and touching Lewis Hamilton 's Mercedes after qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix.

The Silver Arrows enjoyed a pace advantage at Interlagos as the Brit comfortably stuck his car on pole.

Verstappen lines up alongside him for Saturday's 24-lap sprint race, but the order could yet change.

Hamilton is already under investigation for potential DRS breaches, but footage has emerged that could land the Dutchman in hot water.

In parc ferme Verstappen stepped out of his car, checked his rear wing before analysing and touching that of his championship rival.

The FIA – the sport's governing body – confirmed the Red Bull driver's actions were being reviewed and he was called to attend an official hearing over an 'alleged breach of Article 2.5.1 of the FIA International Sporting Code'.

Article 2.5.1 states that: "Inside the Parc Ferme, only the officials assigned may enter. No operation, checking, tuning or repair is allowed unless authorised by the same officials or by the applicable regulations."

The hearing will take place at 9:30am local time on Saturday (12:30pm GMT)

Verstappen has won the last two races, in the USA and then last weekend in Mexico, to open up a 19 point lead with four rounds remaining.

Hamilton faces a tough task to win his eight world championship and fifth in a row – especially as he could be disqualified from qualifying.

His car was referred to the stewards for an irregularity in its DRS system and remains under investigation.

If the No 44 Mercedes has breached technical regulations Hamilton would have to start the sprint race from last place. The standings at the end of the sprint race will determine the positions for Sunday's main race.

Hamilton already has a five-place grid penalty after his team opted to fit a new engine unit on his car.

Mercedes look to have stolen a march in the pace stakes however after Red Bull dominated last weekend, which left their world champion in confident mood on Friday.

He said: "It was everything I wanted, enabling me to keep pushing lap after lap and it was purple, purple, purple, gaining every time.

"I don't know how we can go from one track and them being half a second ahead to them being behind. But they'll be very strong in the race. I hope Valtteri (Bottas) gets a good start."

"I think second was the best we could hope for," said Red Bull team boss Christian Horner. "That fresh engine is obviously pumping out some horsepower for them."

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