Lewis Hamilton will start the Austrian Grand Prix from fifth instead of third. The stewards penalized the six-time World Champion for failing to slow down for yellow flags in yesterday’s qualifying session.
Following yesterday’s qualifying session, the stewards summoned Hamilton for two incidents during Q3. The British driver was under investigation for breaching track limits at turn 10 and failing to acknowledge yellow flags between turns 5 and 7.
In the dying stages of Q3 at the Austrian Grand Prix, Valtteri Bottas lost control of his Mercedes at the exit of turn 4. The Finn ended up cutting across the gravel trap and eventually spinning his W11 in the grass.
Bottas’ incident triggered yellow flags, which drivers must acknowledge. As a result, Hamilton should’ve backed off in the required sector.
Hamilton was on a flying lap behind Bottas when the incident occurred. It appears Lewis failed to lift between turns 5 and 7.
From Hamilton’s onboard, it seemed like that the British driver’s field of view was obscured by dust caused by Bottas taking a trip across the gravel. There were yellow flags being shown with an led board, partially visible due to the dust.
A few hours before the race, Red Bull protested the Stewards decision, seeking a review. Following Red Bull’s protest, the stewards have overturned their decision and handed the Briton a 3 place penalty.
“Following a petition to review decision 33 taken after Qualifying, the Stewards acknowledged that the on-board footage of car 44 represents a significant new element that had not been available to the Stewards in the hearing on Saturday and therefore reviewed the case” said the Stewards, as quoted by F1.com.
“The new video footage clearly shows that a yellow light panel was flashing on the left side of the track in turn 5. A green light panel was flashing at the end of marshalling sector 9. Taking into account these facts, the Stewards determine that decision 33 will be reversed and the above mentioned penalty is being imposed.”
This promotes Max Verstappen, Lando Norris, and Alex Albon to third, fourth, and fifth respectively. With Verstappen starting on the mediums, Red Bull might just give Mercedes a run for their money.