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Red Bull: Social media prompted Hamilton penalty review

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Red Bull: Social media prompted Hamilton penalty review
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Red Bull said that its decision to request a review of Lewis Hamilton’s yellow flag infringement in Austria was prompted by intrigue on social media.

The Milton Keynes-based outfit pushed the FIA in the hours before the Austrian Grand Prix to review the stewards’ decision not to punish Hamilton for ignoring yellow flags on his final qualifying lap.

At the time, the stewards felt that, having spoken to Hamilton, confusion over conflicting yellow and green flags had triggered the scenario of the Mercedes driver not backing off. Therefore they felt it inappropriate to sanction him.

But an official F1 360-degree video that emerged later that evening highlighted the fact that Hamilton had clearly passed a flashing yellow light panel before seeing green flags.

The video promoted a lot of discussion on the Saturday night and, on race morning, Red Bull enquired with the FIA about whether or not they had seen it.

Asked by Motorsport.com about what had prompted his team to act, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said: “It was pointed out to us on social media that there was a different camera angle, the 360 camera.

"It showed very clearly there had been a yellow light box that had been driven through and it only seemed consistent with Mexico [when Max Verstappen was punished for ignoring yellows].

“So we asked the FIA to have another look at it. They said they hadn't seen that footage previously. So, for whatever reason, they hadn't had the access or hadn't looked at that camera.

“So I think having looked at that, and reviewed it, it then became a very clear decision for them.”

With the stewards accepting the new evidence, they changed their mind on Hamilton’s penalty and gave him a three-place grid drop instead from second to fifth.

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About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Lewis Hamilton
Teams Red Bull Racing , Mercedes
Author Jonathan Noble