Hulkenberg penalised, drops to third row of grid


Nico Hulkenberg has been hit with a three-place grid drop for failing to stay above the minimum time set by the FIA ECU during the red flag period in Q3.

The German had just finished his fastest lap and had started another push lap. He was at T1 when the red flag was displayed, however at that point he was already 1.5 seconds over his delta time.

He subsequently claimed this made it extremely difficult for him to come below the delta in the next sector. He also admitted to confusion about the beep signal in his headset, and therefore at one stage thought he was going too slow.

Comparison of telemetry with that of Esteban Ocon showed that in general for the rest of the lap he was approximately the same speed as the Alpine which complied with the delta times in each mini-sector.

The stewards regarded this as a mitigating circumstance. However, the regulation is very clear and whilst there is no question of the German acting dangerously or driving unsafely, there was a breach and thus a penalty had to be imposed.

The normal penalty for failure to slow under red flags is 10 grid positions however in view of the mitigating circumstance, a lower penalty was deemed appropriate.

The stewards note that the intention of the regulation is to ensure a car is not speeding during a red flag situation and there is no evidence that Hulkenberg's speed was excessive in this case.

They also noted that the driver should make himself more familiar with the operational aspects of the delta signals.

Check out our Saturday gallery from Montreal here.

Article from Pitpass (

Published: 18/06/2023
Copyright © Pitpass 2002 - 2024. All rights reserved.