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F1 Austrian Grand Prix: Hulkenberg escapes punishment, retains front row

Nico Hulkenberg has his front row start for the Austrian Grand Prix confirmed after Q1 investigation.
Nico Hulkenberg will start from the front row of the Austrian Grand Prix after he was cleared of a potential yellow flag infringement during qualifying.

The German was one of the stars to emerge from an unpredictable qualifying session, Hulkenberg taking advantage of the wet-to-dry conditions to very nearly cause a major upset in his Force India.

Ending up third on the timesheets, Hulkenberg stood to be promoted to second at the expense of the penalised Nico Rosberg ahead, but for an investigation into whether he failed to heed yellow flag warnings during Q1 following Carlos Sainz's technical issues.

However, with the FIA stewards satisfied Hulkenberg – who improved his time on that lap – did acknowledge the 'danger', they have not imposed a penalty and will allow him to keep his front row start.

"Although the driver went 'green' in the sector where the double yellow flags were displayed, the telemetry clearly demonstrated that he had decelerated on approaching the flag point and that his speed reduced in the yellow flag sector," read the official FIA statement.

Reflecting on the strong qualifying performance, Hulkenberg – who is yet to claim a podium since making his F1 debut in 2010 – is delighted to have carried Force India's impressive recent form to Austria.

“Special circumstances obviously with the rain in Q3 and then the drying-up track but for sure starting second is a very good starting position. Tomorrow we'll do what we can. I'm not thinking too hard about that now.

“We'll do that in the next couple of hours and tonight and tomorrow but our car has made huge steps forwards since Barcelona really and ever-since we've scored a lot of points and a few podiums so yeah, we're on a good slope, we have good momentum and just try to carry it into tomorrow and make it into another good Sunday.”
by Ollie Barstow



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