The hour leading up to the 2020 Austrian Grand Prix has been unbelievably dramatic. Yesterday, at qualifying, polesitter Bottas went wide at Turn 4, which then brought out yellow flags. When Hamilton was exiting Turn 4 the yellow flags were out, yet he didn’t slow down. However, other drivers followed the yellow flags and slowed down. After qualifying on Saturday, Hamilton stood before the stewards. After they reviewed the footage, they cleared him of any wrongdoing.
“[Hamilton] mentioned that he passed a green light panel in Turn 5. 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.”
Hamilton then kept his second place on the grid for the race. However, everything changed when Red Bull protested the stewards’ decision. Hamilton came before the stewards at 1:45 PM local time, and some new onboard video evidence emerged. The 6-time world champion had to start the race in 5th. This also meant that Red Bull driver Max Verstappen started the race in 2nd, as he qualified in 3rd.
“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 stewards.
“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.”
They added: “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.”
McLaren driver Lando Norris started 3rd and received a call from the Crown Prince of Bahrain for that. Max Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate Alexander Albon started in 4th instead of 5th. By looking at the starting grid, it was visible that the 2020 season opener was going to be action-packed. And it was! This is the end of the post; if Red Bull hadn’t protested, the Hamilton may have won the race. He was looking very strong and was piling on the pressure on his teammate. Stay safe, and stay on the lookout for new posts!