Formula 1: Lewis Hamilton penalized, dropped to 5th on grid

It was initially ruled that Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton would not be issued a penalty for ignoring the yellow flags that came out in the third and final round of qualifying for the 2020 Formula 1 season-opening Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring when teammate Valtteri Bottas lost control of his car on the final lap.

Lewis Hamilton

Bottas was already on the provisional pole position for this 71-lap race around the 10-turn, 2.683-mile (4.318-kilometer) road course in Spielberg, Styria, Austria when he went off the track and caused the yellow flags to come out, and Hamilton was trying to better his best lap time in the closing moments of qualifying.

Hamilton was unable to knock his teammate off of the pole position and qualified in second place, just 0.012 seconds (0.029 miles per hour) behind Bottas’s top lap time of 62.939 seconds (153.463 miles per hour) .

“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 race stewards.

Red Bull presented the stewards with new evidence which they had not seen upon making their initial decision not to penalize Hamilton, including on-board footage from Hamilton’s car that shows he should have seen the yellow flags come out

“The Stewards heard from the driver of Car 44 (Lewis Hamilton) and the team representative and have reviewed the new video evidence and telemetry evidences. 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.

“During the initial hearing, no on-board video footage of car 44 was available to the Stewards. Aston Martin Red Bull submitted 360 degree camera footage from car 44 including the passage of car 44 through the relevant section of the track.”

As a result of Hamilton’s penalty, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen has been promoted to the front row in second place while McLaren’s Lando Norris is now set to start in third instead of fourth and Red Bull’s Alexander Albon has been promoted to the second row in fourth. Hamilton is set to start in fifth alongside Racing Point’s Sergio Perez in sixth.

Source: Image: Getty