SPIELBERG, Austria (Reuters) – Stewards handed Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton a three place penalty for impeding in Austrian Grand Prix qualifying on Saturday, dropping the Mercedes driver from the front row of the grid.
The sanction means Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, last year’s winner, will now start alongside Ferrari’s pole sitter Charles Leclerc.
Stewards ruled Hamilton had impeded Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen in the first phase of qualifying. The Briton was also handed one penalty point, his first of the 12 months period.
Five times champion Hamilton is leading team mate Valtteri Bottas by 36 points after winning the last four races and six out of eight.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Toby Davis)