Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Red Bull Ring, 2019

Hamilton given three-place grid penalty for impeding Raikkonen

2019 Austrian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton has been given a three-place grid penalty for the Austrian Grand Prix after the stewards ruled he impeded Kimi Raikkonen.

After speaking to both drivers and reviewing video of the incident the stewards ruled Hamilton “unnecessarily impeded car 7 [Raikkonen] at turn three”.

“Car 44 [Hamilton] had just come out of the pits and was informed of the cars approaching, including car seven. Although car 44 tried to take evasive action when he became aware of car seven approaching on a fast lap, it was not sufficient to avoid impeding car seven, which had to then abort the lap.”

The penalty promotes Max Verstappen to second on the grid for the race alongside pole winner Charles Leclerc. Valtteri Bottas will start second. Hamilton will start the race from fourth place, as Kevin Magnussen, who originally qualified fifth, also has a grid penalty.

In a social media post Hamilton said he “totally deserved the penalty today and have no problem accepting it”.

“[It] was a mistake on my behalf and I take full responsibility for it. It wasn’t intentional.”

Radio messages from the session revealed Hamilton was given two warnings Raikkonen was approaching him. The first came as he left the pit lane, the second as the Alfa Romeo was about to go past as they approached turn three.

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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121 comments on “Hamilton given three-place grid penalty for impeding Raikkonen”

  1. Rules are rules. And everyone is to respect them.
    Be you Russel at P20 or Hamilton at P1.
    Just and consistent decision.

    1. F1oSaurus (@)
      29th June 2019, 17:04

      @dallein Well, Hamilton at least tried to get out of the way, but indeed that was rather clumsy.

      1. Russell also tried to get out of the way.

    2. Give him a reprimand instead, last season on a similar situation vettel got a penalty for supposedly blocking sainz jr, as both went through why not give a reprimand. sainz jr said that he didn’t lobbied the decision, I assuming that was merc and rbr and now rbr and ferrari. cringy f1

  2. Correct decision.

    1. We thought that it was illegal to penalize Lewis! (Joke … sorta)

  3. Rule book needs burning 😭😭😭

    1. Hope this is a sarcasm.
      Absolutely correct decision.

      1. Honestly and obviously, I m not a fan of penalties but that was some unsafe driving :)

        1. I see what you did there ;)

          1. @njoydesign
            I dont know what you are talking about :) it was obvious what happened, we are grown man!

  4. Was the delay because the stewards were deleting their social media accounts?

    Humour apart, fair play. And a 3-place grid drop might just enliven the race tomorrow.

    1. @phylyp, sadly, I suspect that there probably would have been more abuse if they had decided not to give a penalty, given how some members of the F1 fan base seem to have been behaving over the past few weeks.

      1. Ah yes, come to think of it, if Hamilton escaped a penalty, no prizes for guessing the shape the narrative would have taken.

        @gt-racer – I was being flippant there, but I do appreciate your sincere answer.

      2. like hiding behind an anon account and spewing bile. I don’t agree with this penalty, they gave one just like this to seb last year, at least they were this time consistent on this scenario. on the other hand there have been many occasions like monaco 2016 when you cut a tarmac run off block your opponent and get away with it.

    2. @phylyp Delay was perhaps due to them having to officiate the F2 race.

    3. @phylyp

      Lol. I thought they had their lighters ready to burn the rule book.

      It was a deserved penalty though. Quite a bad attempt of getting out of Kimis way. Don’t think Lewis will complain much about this one. Should make for a better race with him starting in P5 as well.

  5. Leclerc – Verstappen front row.
    Plus Lewis gets to be able to wave to Kimi at the start :oP

    1. Finally what all the bored and tired pandas wanted to see :) both young and restless drivers heading into first corner “torpedoing like mad men”

      Hopefully it can be and enjoyable race that pandas have been craving for so long…

      1. Let’s hope so, getting pandas excited is a notoriously difficult job :o)

        1. when you are an endangered and unique breed, you get spoiled a lot normally :) not these breeds though… they will find something boring tomorrow and i m sure of it! lec leading whole race will be boring apart from first corner dives, or max leading after stunning start will be borefast … if a merc wins again, it will be again the most boring race of the century… and those pandas will continue to not watch f1 still and we will cry after them for sure

  6. Fiar enough.

  7. MaFIA… oh wait… Ferrari International Assistance… oh wait. Or maybe the stewards have been consistent to the rule book the whole season

    The ironic thing is that it has probably made the race more boring, I doubt Max has the pace in the Red Bull to challenge Le Clerc especially as he’ll get a better start off the line with the softer tyres. By the time the Mercs get by the Red Bull (and McLaren) it may already be race over. Be interesting to see how far Vettel can get.

    1. or…
      LeClerc/Verstappen take the other each out at turn whatever on the first lap; HAM jumps BOT at start, inherits the lead; and everyone complains about it being a boring race. Completely plausible.

  8. The right decision. I doubted the Stewards’ wouldn’t have the guts to penalize the Championship-leader, but glad they did.

    1. ‘Would’

    2. Well the decision will not have any impact on the championship, so it was an easy one.

  9. And just like last year, Vettel isn’t there to capitalise. Just fantastic.

    1. At least it seems not to be of his own doing (though I guess we were played some audio with them discussing hitting some kerbs…)

  10. But, but, but, FIA are biased to Mercedes, and never punish Hamilton?

    What is going on?

    1. There’re too many precedents to escape it, otherwise it would have happened, don’t worry. Actually, I think there’re 2 cases who made it impossible for the stewards to let HAM walk away with it without creating a strong impression of favouritism towards HAM: VET-SAI, 2018, Austria Q2 and VET-HAM, 2019, Canada race.

      1. You’ve highlighted two instances decisions where the stewards made the correct decision.


    2. that fact that they took so long for a clear impending tells you something… =) russel got it first despite both incidents being in q1 if im not mistaken… they didnt want to penalize the british driver king lewis

      1. Or maybe the fact that Russell and Kyvat both went out in Q1 and are available to the stewards way earlier than the other 2….. but suppose that doesn’t fit your narrative!

      2. Yeah, it tells you (if you happen to read up rather than jump to your own delusional conclusion), that Russell wasn’t, like Hamilton was, summoned to the FIA Post-Qualifying press-conference, with his appointment with the stewards scheduled for 5 local time. The decision came at 6.

        So it short, it tells you nothing, it’s just your imagination.

  11. Not saying this wasn’t the right call under the rules but I remember when you had 26 cars in qualifying & there didn’t need to be penalties because for the most part everyone was respectful of the other drivers & stayed out of the way. And if somebody was held up the drivers would discuss it & apologies would be made without stewards having to step in.

    And they didn’t have the more advanced timing & GPS systems they today, Radio’s weren’t as reliable or clear & mirrors were smaller so in theory there should be less need for these sorts of rules/penalties today because teams/drivers shoudl be more aware of who’s around them.

    1. Not having the technology helped. They’d go out, go as fast as they could, and pit again.

      Now we have tyres that require meticulous preparation, that can then do several fast laps, batteries that need a slow down lap to recharge. Everyone’s doing something different, and we have cars coasting around as much as going quickly. The contrast often causes these sort of incidents.

      1. @gt-racer I thinks it’s because of the technology we now have that penalties are more common since there’s not really an excuse for blocking anymore with the telemetry available.

    2. @gt-racer, mind you, that would be an era where the qualifying rules were often considerably different and qualifying was spread out over multiple days.

      From 1950 until the mid 1990s, the teams had two separate qualifying sessions – one on Friday and a second on Saturday – that meant there was considerably less pressure on each individual qualifying run given how long those two sessions were. If you got slightly held up on one individual run, it didn’t really matter quite so much when you knew you’d had multiple runs available to you, and quite possibly an entire second day available to you to work on your qualifying performances – so, with each individual run being less vital, would you necessarily be that bothered if one was slightly disrupted by another driver?

      1. Not to mention, that they weren’t restricted to a limited number of tyres that have a limited number of fast laps in them.

    3. There was A LOT of trouble and impeding when there was 26 cars.

  12. Leclerc’s first win of the season? Or will Ferrari switch Leclrec to plan F? Will Max be overly aggressive and try to take out Leclerc when he tries to overtake him? Will Bottas spin his tires on the white paint again? Will Lando think this is a simulation and crash into Max? Will Hamilton complain about the tires and say “these tires will not last till the end guys!”? How many times will Vettel say “bwoah” and “obviously”?

    1. you missed some:
      will leclerc one again misjudge his width and takes off a wheel like he did in Monaco…..
      Or will he do a Baku turn…

  13. That’s how a true champion takes a penalty! None of this sulking and changing place boards.

  14. Youngest front row ever?

    1. Wait a minute, youngest front TWO rows ever?

      1. @carbon_fibre – nicely spotted. If only Gasly did a better job, it might’ve been a slam dunk statistic.

  15. Hamilton’s h@ters will be hilariously happy right now.
    Or are they crying still?
    When the cat’s away, the mice play, btw.

    1. I am more than sure they are hectically looking through the whole Regulations trying to find anything to justify harsher penalty!

      Awfully hard time for them indeed!

  16. Josh (@canadianjosh)
    29th June 2019, 17:33

    This has the makings of being an absolute dog fight for 1st tomorrow.

    1. @canadianjosh Difficult to see how it can avoid being an eventful race this time! First the scrap between Leclerc and Verstappen at the front, followed by how Bottas and Hamilton deal with the potential for fireworks up front, then the question of Ferrari’s tyre strategy. Also interesting to see how Norris deals with 4th place, thrown between the Mercedes and the front pair.

    2. I can’t shake the feeling that this is one of those grids we long to see, thinking it’ll deliver a classic race, but will be all but ruined at the first corner… I keep picturing Norris running too deep into turn one, collecting Verstappen and Leclerc, and the two Mercs suddenly finding themselves out front again.

      1. Josh (@canadianjosh)
        30th June 2019, 0:34

        Lol, have faith man. We had a race stolen in Canada by stewards followed by a boring French GP. That is F1, but Austria can bury both of those races with a thriller! I can’t wait! I should go to bed so it starts sooner but a campfire and beers is calling me.

  17. It’s a yoke. maFIA. etc ;)

    1. Slam dunk penalty of course, but I would like to see Hamilton have a ‘Vettel tantrum’ and line up next to Leclerc tomorrow.

      1. Thomasi (@salsaturation)
        29th June 2019, 19:46

        😂… come on racing gods; please make this happen. That would be epic.

  18. Mattias Hammer
    29th June 2019, 17:40

    Both Verstappen and Bottas on second place?

    1. This is how it starts. Just as I predicted yesterday. Everyone will be on the podium.

  19. What’s this? A multiple world champion who accepts a penalty with good grace and doesn’t throw a very public hissy fit?

    1. Absolute shocker! ;)

    2. If you look at his move there’s nothing to choose from.
      He obviously had a blackout to take that as a “evasive manoeuvre”
      But he still is human, so entitled to make mistakes.

    3. @tomd11
      Easy to be graceful when you have a huge championship lead. We have seen Hamilton act less gracious in more difficult situations in the past (see Monaco 2011).

      1. I don’t remember him switching signs or go crying to hospitality area. So VET beat him there, if not in the race.

      2. @kingshark

        You had to go back nearly 9 seasons to find one instance. Just goes to prove @tomd11 right.

        1. @todfod
          That’s because since 2014, Hamilton has had it all going his own way, so of course I had to go back a long time.

          I do remember Hamilton hinting at a conspiracy theory when he was losing 2016 to Rosberg though. “something or someone doesn’t want me to win the title”

          1. Which most of us know was a spiritual comment based on his strong sense of religion.

            Try again.

        2. @todfod
          I also remember Hamilton’s “interesting tactics” comment after Silverstone 2018.

          Hamilton is definitely not a gracious loser. He’s only gracious when he’s leading the championship by a mile. He’s no Mika Hakkinen.

          1. I also remember his post retracting it, where he admitted he spoke in the heat of the moment.

            Your memory isn’t as good as you think.

  20. MB seem to have to have good race pace. So this will be interesting. Key for Hamilton will be getting by Bottas early so he can get pit priority to undercut leclerc.

    1. Its ok. MB will make sure he gets past Bottas before the first corner

  21. Obviously they didn’t burn the rules book!

  22. Fair enough, this could make for one heck of a race tomorrow, those Max fans are are in full party mode!

  23. “Valtteri Bottas will start second” ?

  24. Strange decision, because there was no penalty for Michael Schumacher in 2011 Turkish GP qualifying!

  25. “[It] was a mistake on my behalf and I take full responsibility for it. It wasn’t intentional.”

    Sounds EXACTLY like what Vettel said (and how he behaved) after receiving his last penalty!

    1. Such a disgrace!
      I haven’t seen such champion-unworthy behavior for ages!!!

  26. There is a god…

    1. And he is taking penalty’s like a man

      1. Please don’t be sexist. Thank you.

        1. Really? What century are you from?

    2. “HE WILL RISE”

  27. Wow, this is incredibly surprising, I know for sure fia was biased towards mercedes lately, and I’m sure they still are, I agree with the one who said there were 2 precedents, so they couldn’t not penalize him.

    I have to say I’m impressed by hamilton accepting the penalty without complaining, because pretty much any driver does normally.

    A real shame for vettel cause whenever ferrari has a good chance to win something happens, sometimes due to the drivers, sometimes due to the pit wall and sometimes due to technical problems.

    But yes, having leclerc and verstappen ahead has interesting potential, vettel has the potential to come back strong and threaten some of the front runners, sorry but I don’t consider gasly a front runner so there’s currently only 5 drivers in that category!

    I’m not a ferrari fan, I just would like to not have the same team always winning, so verstappen, lerclerc, vettel, I have no issue whoever wins, vettel is out ofc, and also ferrari in canada already got the best possible result to counter mercedes that isn’t winning, as in took spots 2 and 3, before that the best was what verstappen did at monaco, passing bottas, forcing him to stop again, allowing vettel to make 2nd and stop the mercedes 1-2.

    Overall I think there’s the potential for the 1988 15 out of 16 wins record to remain unbeaten this year, ferrari just keeps throwing away chances but they got some already, as long as they keep focusing on this year’s car mercedes should lose at least a couple of races, and there’s the question red bull if their chassis improves, we’ll see if this race is the right chance but there’s some potential, so goes along with bahrain, canada, baku and monaco, though monaco was only noticed in the race, not in qualifying.

    1. William Jones
      29th June 2019, 22:22

      “I know for sure fia was biased towards mercedes lately”

      That evidence will make you a wealthy man, I assume Keith is writing this scorcher of an article up as we speak.

  28. Harsh decision…but i guess its good for the championship to slow down the charge of Lewis a bit.

    1. He gets the same penalty as others. Why is that harsh

    2. Come on! Even the most ardent HAM fan can see that was a slam dunk penalty. I am a HAM fan and can see that clear as day, just as Lewis could.

    3. @amg44 Ham did it all by himself.. the penalty was logical. Stupid move and very dangerous.

      1. If Lewis had impeded without trying to get out of the way then the penalty is fine. But he clearly tried to get out of the way after he noticed Kimi. For me it was 70-30 in Lewis favor.
        But yeah FIA probably didn’t want to get attacked by those same fans who attacked them after Vettel’s Canada penalty. Some fans already think FIA are biased towards Mercedes.

        1. He drove that thing like my missus looking for a parking spot on a Saturday morning at Woollies.It looked dangerous & was dangerous…harsh my ars3.

  29. If I was Hamilton I’d be like: I fully accept the penalty because this will no effect on me winning my sixth title

    Just to see the fireworks lol

    1. It would actually be refreshing to see Hamilton accept the fact that he’s the favourite for once, instead of always pretending to be some kind of underdog.

  30. *Will have

  31. Hurrah :)

    This will at least give us the chance of some racing tomorrow.
    We all know Lewis pretty much has the WDC in the bag already so why not spice things up by forcing him to race for a change instead of just staring at an empty road ahead wondering when he will see Kubica in the distance.

  32. I’m not sure why this decision has been received postively on this site whereas so many commenters complained about the Vettel penalty for blocking.
    My view on Vettel’s penalty is that he did make a small, intentional move to block Hamilton (it may be difficult to drive over grass at 100mph but come on, these drivers are the best in the world; if Vettel can drive around Monaco in a superhuman time of 71 seconds then he’s capable of staying more to the left). However, there wasn’t enough in it for the penalty to seem appropriate. Debatable, but probably excessive.
    My view on Hamilton’s penalty is that he made a decent effort to get out of Kimi’s way, literally going out of his way to do so, but impeded him slightly. Kimi nonetheless progressed to the next stage of qualifying and is not a championship contender. I believe both of those factors should be considered (de facto…) by the stewards. Debatable, but again probably excessive.
    Vettel’s penalty may have come first, so maybe people think two wrongs make a right, but I still don’t see why such an extreme difference in reaction makes sense.

    1. These penaltys are not comparable. Different rules and different situations.
      So no comparison possible. Or you want to compare Vet with Ham as both are f1 drivers..

      1. Both incidents were worthy of investigation but, in my opinion, should not have been punished. The degree of infraction is very similar.
        I don’t know why so many were outraged by the first yet are applauding the second.

  33. Prediction time.
    Verstappen and Leclerc tangle at turn 1, Bottas runs wide in avoidance. Norris sails through and clear, wondering “What on earth am I doing here?” Lewis suppresses the giggles and passes Lando on lap six, never to be headed again for victory.
    Kimi stifles a yawn and takes third place while thinking of ice creams and vodka.

  34. Lando Norris moves up to fourth on the grid for McLaren.

    FIA have confirmed Hamilton will start 4th @keithcollantine

    1. He was second + 3 places penalty = 5. So he will start fifth on the grid.

      1. This confuses me – why would Hamilton’s penalty be applied first, when Magnussen’s was known before the start of quali? Feel like Norris got screwed over a bit, but I don’t write (or, clearly, read) the rules.

        1. From what i gather only after all the penalties are applied is the grid moved up. When Magnuessen was giving his penalty Norris was still 6th leaving 5th place empty. When Hamilton got his penalty he dropped to that vacant 5th place leaving 2nd place empty. Everybody them moved up to fill the gaps

  35. Not as bad as the penalty Ferrari will inevitably give themselves tomorrow.

  36. I’m not saying it wasn’t a penalty, but there’s a whiff of manipulation about the whole thing that makes it seem more WWE than a sport, especially after the borefest of France. Hamilton has such a huge lead, the penalty doesn’t matter.

  37. Not a fan. I get all the consistency thing, but F1’s already too sensitive over the minor incidents. I hope we’ll get a clearer sheet and more relaxed rules from 2021 on.

    1. William Jones
      29th June 2019, 22:29

      You can’t have both, you have to pick one. Everyone has been banging on for a decade that the stewards are making inconsistent decision. They cite two incidents that appear identical, angry that the stewards factored in something into their decision that made it different to another decision “They were leading the race” being one.

      So the stewards made the rules crystal clear – impede another car, no matter the circumstances, bang, penalty. Enter the track without leaving a cars width on the racing line, bang penalty. Etc.

      Not everyone is up in arms that the stewards are being consistent – by not taking into account those tertiary factors.

      Reality check, you got what you asked for and you’re still not happy. (the royal you) Just go find a sport that you enjoy as is. There is enough racing for everyone, and those other series could do with your support.

  38. I just noticed that the top five grid positions are representing five different teams. I can’t remember the last time that happened. Any amateur F1 historians out there happen to know?

    1. Sorry, Forgot about Hamilton in 4th. I’d still like to know the last time it happened, though.

  39. Ahah while you discuss angels sex, Love an Grace falls down and.. 2+3=4 Divine LH tomorrow wl start fourth. Instead promote onward Norris they favours MB again. What a bunch of clowns FIA. Before race the Anointed by the Lord will be pole.

    1. Agreed. Bunch of clowns. How dare they apply the rules correctly.

      1. In all honesty I don’t actually understand how he starts fourth. Can someone explain please. Thanks

        1. t had been suggested that Hamilton would therefore start fifth, but with Haas driver Kevin Magnussen – who qualified P5 in the top-10 shootout – taking a five-place penalty for fitting a replacement gearbox, the Mercedes driver will start fourth due to the way the FIA applies grid penalties. It means that Hamilton will join his team-mate Valtteri Bottas behind front row starters Leclerc and Max Verstappen, with McLaren’s Lando Norris starting fifth.

          The FIA system applies penalties in the order they are handed out, but vacant grid slots are only closed up once all the sanctions have been handed out, rather than the order being shuffled up after each driver is moved.

          i did not see that coming.

          1. Thank you for the explanation

        2. Magnussen has 5 place grid penalty. So I’m guessing they apply Hamilton’s penalty first then Magnussens. Not sure how they decide that.

          Other way round and Norris would be 4th and Hamilton 5th

          1. They apply the penalties then move the grid up. Magnuessen got his penalty Norris stayed 6th with 5th place being empty. Hamilton then had his penalty applied dropping him to 5th place. Leaving 2nd place empty. Then Verstappen moved to the vacant 2nd Bottos to the vacant 3rd and Hamilton to the vacant 4th

  40. “promotes Max Verstappen to second on the grid for the race alongside pole winner Charles Leclerc. Valtteri Bottas will start second.”


  41. Drivers never had to nurse their tyres such that they would impede other drivers.
    These penalties are an indirect outcome of the need to make fragile tyres.
    In years past, many years past, drivers would race to the pits to get a fresh set then attack the race track again.
    But now, if you damage a single tyre, you lose all four sets.

  42. NeverElectric
    30th June 2019, 4:26

    Waiting for the part where Hamilton throws a hissy fit, the entire f1 retinue of mediocre ex-driver commentators declare the FIA needs to ignore its own laws and “let them race”, Hamilton runs up and down the paddock changing quali placemarkers and his fan following all declare f1 is dead.
    Don’t keep me waiting…

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