Lewis Hamilton AVOIDES grid penalty after stewards’ inquiry keeps start of Austrian GP first

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Lewis Hamilton will keep his start at the front row for the Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday despite the fact that his fastest qualifying time has been erased by the stewards.

Hamilton qualified second fastest behind teammate Valtteri Bottas in Saturday’s session, with Max Verstappen of Red Bull in third.

This represents a disturbing start to the season rescheduled for Mercedes, whose front row lock seemed threatened when the Briton was summoned to the commissaires’ office accused of overstepping the track and ignoring the yellow flags.

Lewis Hamltion escaped a grid penalty after qualifying second for Sunday’s Austrian GP

The Briton would have exceeded the limits of the track and did not slow down under the yellow flags

The Briton would have exceeded the limits of the track and did not slow down under the yellow flags

Hamilton’s best time has been won but will remain with Bottas in the front row

The two incidents occurred during Hamilton’s last lap in Q3, which saw Bottas running wide in the gravel, blowing a huge cloud of dust on the track and bringing out the yellow warning signs.

Hamilton – next behind the possible pole sitter – burst in, later admitting to SkySports ‘Paul di Resta that he had not been affected by Bottas’ mistake as he progressed on his previous lap the most. fast.

The Mercedes star could have been slapped with a grid penalty for the incident after Verstappen lost three places for a similar offense at last year’s Mexican Grand Prix.

Mercedes will enjoy the luxury of a front row lockout for the first round of the season

Mercedes will enjoy the luxury of a front row lockout for the first round of the season

This would have left Hamilton behind Verstappen, McLaren’s Lando Norris and his teammate from the Netherlands Alex Albon, causing the 35-year-old to land third.

However, the commissioners decided that Hamilton did not break the rules on this occasion, rather removing his last lap – and the quickest one – for exceeding the Limits of the Spielberg track at turn 10.

Fortunately for Mercedes, Hamilton’s second best effort was still enough to defeat Verstappen, who will be the biggest challenger of the German configuration on Sunday.

Bottas' error in his last race in Q3 saw him flying in the gravel, blowing a huge cloud of dust

Bottas’ error in his last race in Q3 saw him flying in the gravel, blowing a huge cloud of dust

Hamilton continues seventh world title this season after long wait to start this year

Hamilton continues seventh world title this season after long wait to start this year

“Not that I saw, no,” replied Hamilton when asked if he had seen the warning flags.

“I came around the corner, I took power and I thought that Valtteri might have just widened and come back on the track higher up the road.

“I was looking for gravel on the track and a car on the track, but there was nothing there, so I continued.

“Then I saw when I entered, I think it was at Turn Six that Valtteri was much more to the left. It happened fairly quickly and quite a big puff of dust.

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