Lewis Hamilton has been cleared after being investigated for failing to slow for yellow flags in qualifying for the Austrian Formula 1 Grand Prix.
Hamilton’s teammate, Valtteri Bottas, scored his 12th pole position today but on his final Q3 lap, he touched the gravel on turn 4 and ran far wide into the run off area. He then ended up on the grass on the inside of turns 6 and 7 and spun there.
Bottas was the lead Mercedes driver for their laps and was therefore ahead of Hamilton on the road.
Hamilton continued with his lap after Bottas’ off and did improve but he was not able to better Bottas’ first run and ended up second, 0.012s down.
Hamilton was summoned to the stewards to discuss whether he took appropriate action under the yellow flags with Hamilton arguing that he couldn’t see the flag boxes because of the dust.
Hamilton spoke to Paul Di Resta on the official F1 feed about his perspective: “I came round the corner, got on the power and I thought that Valtteri had perhaps gone wide and then come back on further up the road. So I was looking out for the gravel on the track and the car on the track, but there was nothing there so I continued.”
The FIA stewards heard and understood Hamilton’s testimony and concluded no further action.
Their statement said: “The driver mentioned he had passed a green light panel at Turn 5. The video footage confirmed that there [had] been yellow flags and green light panels at the same time and therefore conflicting signals were shown to the driver.”
He did have his first lap from Q3 deleted due to track limits abuse at turn 10 but that was of no consequence because he had gone faster.
Albon and Ricciardo behind did not improve their laps with Ricciardo not having been able to set a lap time in Q3.