Hamilton drops to fifth on grid after stewards review decision

Lewis Hamilton has dropped from second to fifth on the grid for the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix after being penalised for ignoring yellow flags in qualifying.

The decision came after Red Bull requested the stewards review their original decision not to take further action on Saturday night. It means Red Bull's Max Verstappen starts second behind Valtteri Bottas, with Lando Norris moving up to third in his McLaren and Alex Albon starting fourth in the second Red Bull.

Hamilton set his fastest qualifying lap, which initially secured second place on the grid, despite yellow flags showing at Turn 4 and 5 for his Mercedes teammate Bottas, who had run wide through the gravel ahead of him.

Hamilton claimed he did not see the flags, which are a signal to drivers to slow down, and then passed a green light panel, used to indicate the track is clear, at Turn 5. Video evidence confirmed a mix of green light panels and yellow flags, which led the stewards to take no further action against Hamilton on Saturday night.

However, Red Bull called for a review of that decision on Sunday ahead of the race after the 360 degree camera on Hamilton's car also showed him passing a yellow flag panel. Representatives of the Mercedes team were called to the stewards one hour and 25 minutes before the race start and when team members arrived on the grid 50 minutes before, Hamilton's crew set up around fifth place.

The stewards final decision said they had not had access to onboard footage at the time of their original decision.

A similar situation occurred during qualifying for last year's Mexican Grand Prix when Max Verstappen was penalised three grid places. In that instance the stewards said the yellow flags were "clearly visible" and "shown with enough notice", but Red Bull claimed his in-cockpit warning did not show.

Earlier this weekend, Red Bull launched an unsuccessful protest against Mercedes DAS system.