Starting on P2 at the Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday, Nico Hulkenberg avoided a grid penalty after being investigated by the FIA for a possible yellow flag infringement.
During Q1, Hulkenberg was being investigated after he was suspected of failing to respect the yellow flag while Carlos Sainz’s car was smoking, which almost jeopardised his impressive placing.
Luckily though he was cleared after he was deemed to have acknowledged the possible danger and ended up keeping his P2 spot, which he actually gained from Nico Rosberg, who will start in P7 after receiving a five-place grid penalty for changing his gear box.
“Although the driver went ‘green’ in the sector where the double yellow flags were displayed, the telemetry clearly demonstrated that he had decelerated on approaching the flag point and that his speed reduced in the yellow flag sector,” a statement from the FIA said.
On his strong qualifying, the Force India driver proved that he is a real threat while driving in the rain and is hoping to gain his first podium in F1.
“Special circumstances obviously with the rain in Q3 and then the drying-up track but for sure starting second is a very good starting position,” the German revealed.
“Tomorrow we’ll do what we can. I’m not thinking too hard about that now.
“We’ll do that in the next couple of hours and tonight and tomorrow but our car has made huge steps forwards since Barcelona really and ever-since we’ve scored a lot of points and a few podiums so yeah, we’re on a good slope, we have good momentum and just try to carry it into tomorrow and make it into another good Sunday.”
With Hulkenberg avoiding a penalty, Renault driver Jolyon Palmer and Manor driver Rio Haryanto weren’t so lucky as they were found guilty after they were investigated for the same infringement.