Three hours after the Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying session, Nico Rosberg was summoned to the steward’s office to answer questions over the yellow flags in sector three when Fernando Alonso spun just ahead of Nico’s teammate, Lewis Hamilton. Lewis’s attempt for pole was scuppered but by the time Nico reached the scene of the incident, Alonso had got back under way and even so, Nico lifted in that section prompting Sky Sports F1’s Martin Brundle to say: “He definitely slowed through that left hander more than normal. That’s a savvy pole position.”
Regardless, Nico’s fast lap was set on a continually drying track and while double-yellows mean to slow and be prepared to stop, lifting may not have been enough even though Brundle felt it was. It was for Nico Hulkenberg in Austria who also went green in a sector of double-yellows and the stewards deemed his lift adequate for the situation.
If that wasn’t enough, the stewards were also beavering away over what the press has made much about—the fact that several cars in Q1 were outside the 107% rule and my how Twitter is alight with allegations and speculation over these riveting issues that require real and even armchair attorneys to start parsing the rule book and seeking evidentiary cases based on the wording. Everyone is an expert and regardless that the practice times are a measure for pace and exceptional circumstances are also factored into the equation, the press are really peeling the skin on this onion back and running all sorts of stories one presumes are intended to create drama where little exists.
THREE HOURS! Why would the FIA feel inclined to call a meeting with Rosberg three hours after he claimed pole? Well, Lewis Hamilton was certainly dog-whistling the press about it saying he felt there needed to be clarification on the wording and he was “surprised” Nico’s lap was faster or that he was faster in sector 2. The entire debacle is ridiculous and insulting to fans who thought they had a grasp on the grid for Sunday but you never know. Depending on how much Red Bull and other teams complain and how much Lewis amps the press and social media, I guess now we could have results over turned all the way up until the start of the race. Silly…just silly.
This is the part of F1 that is tedious and really uncalled for. I read tweets from F1 journalists all parsing words and claiming safety standards etc but if the situation were serious enough for double-yellows then use the new Virtual Safety Car dammit! That’s what it’s there for or do we recall the double-yellow incident in Japan that ultimately claimed the life of Jules Bianchi and how the VSC was created for this very reason?
Regardless, calmer heads have prevailed and Nico will keep pole position with Lewis right behind him and I said in my quali review, only 13 out of 30 times has a driver won from pole here so Lewis has a very good chance of winning so the folks in the press and #TeamLH shouldn’t worry that their guy may not win, in fact, I picked him to win because he’ll have won 5 Hungarian GP’s and that’s a record and Lewis likes to beat records.