Red Bull protest successful, Hamilton drops to P5

Mark Scott
Lewis Hamilton PA

Lewis Hamilton PA

Red Bull’s incredibly late protest over the decision not to give Lewis Hamilton a grid penalty for the Austrian Grand Prix has been successful.

With a little over an hour before the lights were due to go out at the Red Bull Ring, the Milton Keynes-based team shoved Mercedes back in front of the stewards again as they took issue over the fact that the FIA decided to take no further action over Hamilton allegedly failing to slow for yellow flags during Q3 on Saturday following Valtteri Bottas’ off.

Red Bull went armed with a new camera angle to show that Hamilton did not lift off when the yellow flag markers showed and, on that new evidence, the FIA has overturned the decision and slapped the defending champion with a three-place grid penalty.

Hamilton will now line up from P5 on the grid, with Max Verstappen promoted up to the front row alongside pole-sitter Bottas.

McLaren’s Lando Norris will now start from P3 and Alex Albon is up to P4.

This, of course, was not the first time Red Bull has lodged a protest against Mercedes this weekend. On Friday, they wanted clarity over the legality of the Silver Arrows’ dual-axis steering system.

That particular protest was unsuccessful, though, with Christian Horner now declaring the matter closed.

“We wanted to get clarity,” Horner told Sky Sports F1.

“We wanted to protest at the earliest point of the weekend so it didn’t interrupt with the race result. So it would either be legal or illegal on Friday so it would then give Mercedes a chance to rectify that either way for Saturday and Sunday.

“Having seen it [DAS] on the car on Friday, we chose to use the avenue of a protest to achieve that clarity.

“We informed Mercedes prior to putting in the protest.

“Basically, the system is very, very complicated and it comes into question: what is a steering wheel for?’

“The stewards obviously back the decision [that DAS is legal] and so we have that clarity now.

“If we want one [our own DAS system] we will have to design that and incorporate it.”

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