Lewis Hamilton has retained his front row start for the Austrian Grand Prix despite having one of his lap times cancelled for being found in breach of track limits during Q3 at the Red Bull Ring.

Stewards said no further action was deemed necessary for a secondary allegation over a yellow flag infringement during the same session.

The Mercedes F1 driver was threatened with a potential grid penalty after being brought up for two separate allegations, one for now slowing down sufficiently for yellow flags in the wake of Valtteri Bottas off-track excursion in Q3 and another for failing to adhere to track limits at Turn 10.

Of these, Hamilton was only found to be in breach of the latter, carrying a penalty of losing that lap time only.

With regards to the alleged yellow flag breach, the FIA communication confirmed signals from the marshals and the electronic panels at the time were conflicting. As such, Hamilton is confirmed to be starting alongside Bottas on the front row for the 2020 F1 season opener.

“The driver mentioned that he passed a green light panel in turn five. 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 decided to take no further action.

It’s a lucky reprieve for Hamilton, who heads into this weekend looking to kick start his bid for a seventh F1 world title in earnest. Nonetheless, he was ultimately out-classed by Bottas when it mattered in qualifying.

“Valtteri did a fantastic job today with his lap, it’s amazing, I did not expect to have that sort of gap.

“We thought we were definitely quick enough to be fighting for the lead but there were different showings of the other teams sometimes quick, sometimes a bit further behind, so that’s the true showing of our car and we plan to improve that.”

 

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