Reigning World Champion Lewis Hamilton is under investigation by the FIA stewards for not slowing down under yellow flags. Hamilton has been summoned by the race stewards and is expected to make a decision regarding Hamilton’s actions.
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. Furthermore, the Briton is also under investigation for breaching track limits at turn 10.
It’ll be interesting to see how the stewards react to Hamilton’s incident. At the 2019 Mexican Grand Prix, Max Verstappen failed to acknowledge yellow flags and it cost him dearly.
The Dutchman failed to slow down for Bottas, who had crashed at the penultimate corner. Telemetry showed that Verstappen didn’t lift or back off at the scene of the incident. The Dutchman clinched pole but stewards soon handed him a 3-place grid penalty.
If the stewards apply the same course of action, Hamilton will drop down to P5. This would promote Max Verstappen to second, Lando Norris to third and Alex Albon to fourth.
While a decision is yet to be made, Verstappen starting on the front row would definitely spice things up for tomorrow. The Dutchman is starting on the medium compound tires and could spoil Mercedes’ party on Sunday.
However, Hamilton maintained that he did not see yellow flags being waved for Bottas. Speaking to Motorsport.com, Lewis said:
“Not that I saw, no.
“I came round the corner, I got on the power and I thought that Valtteri perhaps had just gone wide and come back on the track further up the road.
“I was looking out for the gravel on the track and for a car on the track, but there was nothing there so I continued.
“Then I saw as I was going into, I think it was to Turn 6 that Valtteri was much further to the left. It happened pretty quick and pretty big puff dust.”
For now, we can only wait for the official decision.