UPDATE: 2pm ET: Lewis Hamilton has been cleared of ignoring yellow flags during qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix and will start from second place, despite seeing one lap time deleted.
The defending champion was summoned to the stewards for allegedly failing to slow when yellow flags were shown at the end of Q3, after teammate Valtteri Bottas went off at Turn 4. However, Hamilton told the FIA he had seen green flags, and the stewards reviewed video footage that showed there was not a clear signal to adhere to.
“The driver mentioned that he passed a green light panel in Turn 5,” the stewards decision read. “The video footage confirmed that there have been yellow flags and green light panels at the same time and therefore conflicting signals were shown to the driver. Taking this into account, the Stewards decide to take no further action.”
The light panels changed as Bottas stayed off track for a number of corners in an apparent attempt to not interfere with cars still trying to complete their flying laps.
Hamilton was penalized for an incident earlier in Q3, however, as he ran wide at the final corner, where drivers are warned they will have lap times deleted if they use it to gain an advantage on either the current or following lap.
“The car left the track,” the stewards ruled. “As no laptime has been achieved in the lap following the infringement, only the lap time in which the infringement had happened is being deleted.”
The laptime that Hamilton had deleted was slower than the one that was allowed to stand at the end of the session, and therefore he keeps his second place on the grid alongside Bottas, who took pole by 0.012s.
12:45pm ET: Lewis Hamilton’s second place on the grid at the Austrian Grand Prix is in doubt after he was summoned to the stewards for ignoring yellow flags at the end of Q3.
Valtteri Bottas was on provisional pole position and went off on his final attempt, running through the gravel at Turn 4. The Finn stayed off the track in an apparent attempt to let others finish their laps, and Hamilton was directly behind his teammate when the incident happened, going on to improve his lap time but fall just 0.012s short of pole.
However, the defending champion has since been called to the stewards for “allegedly failing to slow for yellow flags” when passing the Bottas incident, while he has been summoned for a second issue as he left the track at Turn 10 on his first run in Q3.
The race director’s event notes state: “A lap time achieved during any practice session or the race by leaving the track and cutting behind the red and white curb on the exit of Turn 10, as judged by the detection loop in this location, will result in that lap time and the immediately following lap time being invalidated by the stewards.”
Hamilton improved on his first lap with his second in Q3.
The six-time world champion was due to see the stewards regarding both matters at 6:15pm local time, and could face a grid penalty.