Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton got into a spot of trouble with the FIA during the Austrian GP qualifying session. As it turned out, the 5-time World Champion had impeded Alfa Romeo driver Kimi Raikkonen and was promptly put under investigation. Afterwards he claimed that he “wasn’t aware” the Alfa Romeo was closing on him when the pair met on track.
Unfortunately for Lewis Hamilton, his radio messages from qualifying paint a different picture. Apparently Mercedes did warn him of the Alfa Romeo duo rapidly catching him after he left the pits in Q1.
Then, Lewis Hamilton received a second message Raikkonen was quite close to him on track. The Briton attempted to move away from the racing line and slower. He then crossed the racing line at turn three before Raikkonen negotiated the corner.The Alfa Romeo driver raised a middle finger at Hamilton as he backed off and aborted his lap.
Speaking after qualifying, Hamilton admitted his driving probably delayed Raikkonen. “Basically I saw one of the team’s cars came by,” he said. “And I was braking for the hairpin, turn three, and I saw one coming.”
“And I saw the other one coming so I got off the brakes and tried to go straight on to try and get out of the way because I didn’t want to meet him in the corner. I don’t think I met them in the corner but I think that probably put him off, I would have thought.
“So it wasn’t ideal and I wasn’t aware that car was coming so not the easiest.”
Raikkonen admitted he had been surprised by Hamilton chose to cross the racing line. “I don’t know why he didn’t slow down and let me past” he told Sky. “He kind of slowed down and then speeded up and went over the racing line.”