Lewis Hamilton has cast doubt on his own qualifying result as an FIA Stewards investigation overhangs him for potentially impeding Kimi Raikkonen during Q1.

The reigning Formula 1 world champion has secured second place in qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix but is set to face the FIA Stewards after an incident with Alfa Romeo’s Raikkonen in Q1 where he appeared to block the Finn at Turn 3.

Speaking after qualifying ahead of his meeting with the FIA Stewards, Hamilton says he’s unsure if he’ll escape a penalty for the incident and has defended himself by explaining how he tried to avoid the former F1 world champion by going off track.

“I saw one of the [Alfa Romeo] team’s cars came by and I was braking for the hairpin, Turn 3, and saw the other one coming,” Hamilton said. “I tried to go straight on and get out of the way because didn’t want to meet in a corner.

“I don’t think I met in a corner but I might have put him off, so that wasn’t ideal and I wasn’t aware that car was coming, so not the easiest.

“I don’t know if I will be starting where I am now so we will wait and see.”

Having missed out on pole position to Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen starting from third place, Hamilton remains optimistic for a strong race if he can keep hold of his qualifying position on the front row.

“If we get to start the race in the position I am in, I think it will be a quite fun race,” he said. “This is a track that you can follow a little bit more but it is still going to be quite difficult at the top between a few of us.

“I think the Ferraris look particularly quick not only on their long runs but also short runs so it is not so easy to keep up. I’ll give it everything I have and if I can stay in the tow for example and be there on the different tyre then maybe we can offset each other.”

 

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