Nico Hulkenberg, the German driver, had managed to secure a competitive time that would have placed him alongside Max Verstappen on the front row of the starting grid during Q3. However, just moments before the stewards issued a red flag due to Oscar Piastri’s crash at Turn 7, effectively halting the session.
After the necessary cleanup of Piastri’s McLaren, the qualifying session resumed, but the track conditions had significantly deteriorated compared to the preceding period.
This fortunate timing secured Hulkenberg’s provisional position on the front row, as Fernando Alonso was unable to complete his lap and challenge Verstappen for the same spot.
Following the session, a document circulated by the FIA revealed that Hulkenberg was summoned to appear before the stewards. The summons was related to an alleged violation of Article 37.6 a) of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations – Car 27, specifically failing to stay above the minimum time set by the FIA ECU at 16:59.
According to radio exchanges between Hulkenberg and his race engineer Gary Gannon, it appeared that Hulkenberg had been driving at a pace that did not meet the required delta time during the return to the pitlane after the red flag.
During Q1, Hulkenberg narrowly avoided elimination, with Yuki Tsunoda from AlphaTauri failing to set a competitive time that would have pushed Hulkenberg into the danger zone.
In Q2, Haas made the strategic decision to switch to slick tires before the rain returned. This allowed Hulkenberg to secure a place in Q3 at the expense of Charles Leclerc from Ferrari.
As track conditions worsened in Q3, Hulkenberg skillfully warmed up his intermediate tires, enabling him to achieve a lap time of 1m27.102s on his second attempt and pushing Alonso down to third place.
Unfortunately for Hulkenberg, as he was completing his cooldown lap and approaching Turn 2, the red flag was displayed. Race engineer Gary Gannon advised Hulkenberg to maintain a positive delta time. However, Hulkenberg expressed confusion, noting that the beeping sound in his earpiece was causing distraction and sought clarification on whether he needed to be negative or positive in terms of the delta time. Gannon urged him to slow down, but Hulkenberg felt he was already driving too slowly after passing Piastri’s crashed car.
At this point, Gannon instructed Hulkenberg to change engine modes, prompting Hulkenberg to inquire whether his speed was too fast or too slow. The response from Gannon indicated that Hulkenberg needed to reduce his speed as he approached the hairpin before entering the pit lane.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about red flag violation
What was the reason for Hulkenberg being summoned by the stewards in the Canadian GP qualifying?
Hulkenberg was summoned by the stewards due to an alleged breach of Article 37.6 a) of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations – Car 27 failing to stay above the minimum time set by the FIA ECU at 16:59.
How did Hulkenberg secure a provisional position on the front row of the grid?
Hulkenberg secured a provisional position on the front row of the grid because he had posted a competitive time just seconds before the red flag was issued during the qualifying session. This was a fortunate timing for him.
Why was Hulkenberg’s position on the front row provisional?
Hulkenberg’s position on the front row was provisional because Fernando Alonso, who was also in contention for the front row, was unable to complete his lap due to the red flag interruption caused by Oscar Piastri’s crash.
How did Hulkenberg narrowly avoid elimination in Q1?
Hulkenberg narrowly avoided elimination in Q1 because Yuki Tsunoda from AlphaTauri was unable to set a time fast enough to push Hulkenberg into the danger zone at the end of the session.
What strategic decision did Haas make in Q2?
In Q2, Haas made the strategic decision to switch to slick tires before the rain returned. This allowed Hulkenberg to secure a place in Q3, replacing Charles Leclerc from Ferrari.
What prompted the stewards to issue a red flag in the qualifying session?
The stewards issued a red flag during the qualifying session after Oscar Piastri crashed on the exit of Turn 7, requiring a clean-up operation to remove the stranded McLaren from the track.