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Lewis Hamilton is under investigation and, after qualifying second in Austria, can face GRID PENALTY

Lewis Hamilton can face GRID PENALTY with investigated Mercedes driver for two rule breaches after qualifying second to Sunday’s Austrian GP

  • Lewis Hamilton qualified second after teammate Valtteri Bottas
  • The Finnish driver went off the track in the third quarter, raising yellow flags
  • Hamilton is being investigated for speeding while the yellow flags are displayed
  • He is also said to have exceeded circuit limits in his fastest qualifying lap
  • The Briton can receive a grid penalty of three places for the first offense

Lewis Hamilton was able to crash down for Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix, while the Brit was examined in the stewards’ office.

Hamilton qualified second during Saturday’s session after teammate Valtteri Bottas, with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen third.

It marked an ominous start to the rescheduled season for Mercedes, but their front row lockout could be jeopardized because Hamilton would have exceeded runway limits and – more seriously – ignored yellow flags.

Lewis Hamltion will receive a grid penalty after qualifying second for Sunday's Austrian GP

Lewis Hamltion will receive a grid penalty after qualifying second for Sunday’s Austrian GP

Both of these possible offenses occurred on Hamilton’s last run of Q3 when Bottas ran wide on the gravel and blew a huge dust cloud over the track.

Hamilton – after the eventual pole-sitter – stormed on, later admitting that he was unaffected by Bottas’ error as he improved in his previous fastest lap.

The stewards are also reviewing Hamilton’s run through turn 10, where he could face a penalty for breaching the Spielberg runway limits.

Although the 35-year-old would remain in the front row if his fastest lap before the turn of turn 10 is removed because his previous fastest lap was still good enough to beat Verstappen, his offense under yellow flags could hurt his chances.

The Belgian driver was penalized for a similar incident to last year’s Mexican Grand Prix, losing three places on the grid.

Hamilton could escape the same fate if the British can prove that he did not see the yellow flags because they were either shown too late or his sight was obscured by the dust, or in fact he slowed down sufficiently.

“Not that I’ve seen, no,” Hamilton replied when asked if he saw the warning flags.

“I came around the corner, I got the power, and I thought maybe Valtteri had just gone wide and got back on the track further down the road.

“I was looking for the gravel on the track and a car on the track, but there was nothing there, so I continued.

“Then I saw as I went in, I think it was before Turn Six that Valtteri was much further to the left. It happened quite quickly and quite large puff pastry. ‘

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