Austrian Grand Prix – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton is being investigated for impeding Kimi Raikkonen in the first part of qualifying at the Red Bull Ring.
Hamilton qualified P2 at the end of the qualifying hour at the Red Bull Ring, but his starting position is under threat after being involved in a blocking incident with Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen.
Approaching the big braking zone at Turn 2, Raikkonen was on a flying lap when he caught up on the back of Hamilton’s Mercedes. Hamilton attempted to get out of the way by taking the inside of the corner and then running across the track to get into the escape area but, due to Raikkonen being unsure what he was doing, did get slowed down by the incident.
The stewards noted the incident and have since confirmed they will be investigated the incident after the session. The reason cited for the investigation is that he drove unnecessarily slowly and impeded the Finn. The hearing with Raikkonen and Hamilton will be at 5pm local time.
“I saw one of the Alfas come by.” Hamilton explained afterwards. “I braked at Turn 3, and saw the other one coming up behind me. I got off the brakes and went straight on to try getting out of the way. I don’t think I met him in the corner but I think he was probably put off. I wasn’t aware he was coming, it certainly wasn’t ideal.”
If found guilty, Hamilton could have his qualifying times deleted or, more likely, be handed a grid penalty. Last year, at the same venue, Sebastian Vettel was given a three place grid penalty for blocking Renault’s Carlos Sainz in qualifying.