For the second time in two race weekends, yellow flags have unusually caused a load of confusion to the drivers. Last time out, it was Red Bull driver Max Verstappen who suffered a huge blow by receiving a 5-place grid penalty for failing to slow down under double-waved yellow flags.
Interestingly, it wasn’t showing on his dashboard although being waved by the marshals off the track. Nevertheless, the stewards chose to punish the Dutchman. And this time around at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, it is Lewis Hamilton who found himself amidst a confusing yellow flag moment during FP3.
Yellow flags were out for absolutely no reason. The marshals weren’t waving anything and even Mercedes weren’t notifying Hamilton of any such yellow flags in place. But, the yellow lights were flashing on the side of the track. Yet, the Briton remained reluctant to let go of the throttle and overtook Verstappen at pure racing speed.
This led to a summoning by the stewards, who, after a stern review, let Hamilton walk out of the office without any grid penalties; The stewards admitted that the yellow flags were activated by mistake. Well, Red Bull aren’t going to give up that easily, are they?
Red Bull officially appeal against Hamilton’s yellow flag verdict
The FIA did offer the team an option to appeal against their verdict on Hamilton’s alleged yellow flag infringement. Well, Red Bull have taken it, with the confirmation arriving from Red Bull’s advisor, Dr. Helmut Marko.
The Austrian, speaking to Servus TV, acknowledged that a yellow is a yellow and any driver in that sector must slow down, which, in Hamilton’s case, did not happen.
“We appealed against this decision. Max got five starting positions in Qatar, and suddenly yellow is no longer yellow. There is another interpretation, but it cannot go on like this, that one interprets it in such an arbitrary way,” he said according to Formel1.de.
“It was a yellow flag, very clear yellow on the display. The team should at least have issued a warning. We have appealed, but now we have a few other concerns. But we will continue to follow up.”
Overall, this doesn’t necessarily come as a shock, especially after the way qualifying session ended for Red Bull; Verstappen in P3 while Perez down in P5 as opposed to Mercedes’ front-row. So, how are the stewards going to respond to the appeal? Will they overturn their initial verdict?