Hamilton escapes grid penalty at Austrian Grand Prix after yellow flag incident

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Lewis Hamilton will start from second position at the Austrian Grand Prix after the stewards cleared him of any wrongdoing in an incident at the end of qualifying.

Hamilton was beaten to pole position by Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, who claimed the quickest time in qualifying despite spinning out on his final attempt. The incident prompted yellow flags to be waved in that part of the track.

Hamilton had been the next car on track behind Bottas when the No.77 car went off at Turn 4, but after qualifying he said he had not seen yellow flags and thought Bottas had simply run wide and kicked up some dust onto the track. Hamilton was 0.1s quicker on that lap, suggesting he did gain time despite the cautionary flag being waved.

The stewards said it had not been made clear that yellow flags were in operation at that part of the track, meaning the world champion escaped a grid penalty.

Their verdict said: "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 did have his first timed lap from Q3 deleted for exceeding track limits and gaining an advantage at Turn 10. However, this will not impact his starting position as the second lap, the one the stewards had been assessing for the yellow flag incident, had been 0.1s quicker anyway and remained as normal.