Formula 1 world championship leader Lewis Hamilton has been handed a three-place grid penalty for the Austrian Grand Prix after impeding Kimi Raikkonen during qualifying.

The Mercedes driver appeared to impede Alfa Romeo's Raikkonen at Turn 3 as he straight-lined the corner in a last-ditch bid to get out of the Finn’s way.

Raikkonen gestured to Hamilton from his cockpit and reported over team radio that the Briton had “completely blocked me”, leading to both drivers being summoned to the stewards following the end of qualifying.

The Austrian GP stewards ultimately concluded Hamilton had "unnecessarily impeded" Raikkonen, despite both drivers progressing through to the next segment of qualifying.

"The Stewards reviewed video evidence and heard from the driver of car 7 (Kimi Raikkonen) and the driver of car 44 (Lewis Hamilton) and the team representatives and determined that car 44 unnecessarily impeded car 7 at Turn 3," an FIA statement read.

"Car 44 had just come out of the pits and was informed of the cars approaching, including car 7. Although car 44 tried to take evasive action when he became aware of car 7 approaching on a fast lap, it was not sufficient to avoid impeding car 7, which had to then abort the lap."

Hamilton had qualified alongside polesitter Charles Leclerc on the front-row but will now drop just two positions to fourth, due to Kevin Magnussen's penalty being applied first. 

Hamilton has also been handed one penalty point on his licence for the incident - marking his first blemish of the current 12-month period. 

The penalty promotes Red Bull's Max Verstappen to the front-row of the grid alongside Leclerc, while Valtteri Bottas moves up to third. 

Mercedes-backed Williams driver George Russell also picked up a three-place grid penalty for the same offence as he blocked Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat during Q1. 



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