Hulkenberg, Stroll and Sainz reprimanded

Monza, Italy

Italian Grand Prix – Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg, McLaren’s Carlos Sainz and Racing Point’s Lance Stroll have all received reprimands for their Q3 driving.

Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg, McLaren’s Carlos Sainz and Racing Point’s Lance Stroll were summoned before race stewards in Italy, having been adjudged to be the cause of the traffic jam that meant seven of the nine drivers taking part in Q3 were unable to start their final flying laps in time.

Several hours after qualifying, the decision of the race stewards was finally announced. Hulkenberg, Stroll and Sainz have all received reprimands for their driving, each one receiving their first such wrist slap of the season.

All three were handed the same verdict, with the stewards explaining that “The drivers conceded that they drove “unnecessarily slowly” because they wanted to “get a tow” for their qualifying laps. They also pointed out that in their opinion other drivers drove slowly.”

“However, the Stewards believe that the drivers of Car 27 (Hulkenberg), Car 55 (Sainz) and Car 18 (Stroll) played a significant role in the banking up of cars at a critical stage of the final out lap for Q3.  The Stewards strongly recommend that the FIA expedite a solution to this type of situation.”

This was the second investigation that Nico Hulkenberg had faced after qualifying. An earlier investigation into him leaving the track deliberately at Turn 1 on his final outlap resulted in a ‘no further action’ decision, as the stewards couldn’t determine whether there had been any intent to do so.

The other post-qualifying investigation, that of Sebastian Vettel’s alleged breach of track limits on his flying lap, also resulted in no further action, with the stewards saying that there was reason to give him ‘benefit of the doubt’ that he hadn’t completely crossed over the white line at Parabolica.

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Thomas Maher

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