Hulkenberg, a Haas driver, violated the FIA ECU minimum delta time while returning to the pits during the red flag incident in Q3, causing him to receive a three-position penalty. The red flag situation arose due to Oscar Piastri’s McLaren crash at Turn 7 during Montreal’s wet conditions.
Just before the red flag surfaced, Hulkenberg secured a second-place position on the grid, and the escalating rain meant no one could enhance their performance once the race restarted.
Hulkenberg had just entered the first set of corners when the session was stopped. Consequently, he was 1.5 seconds over the delta time, a mistake he couldn’t correct.
The FIA’s official report notes that Hulkenberg had just completed his fastest lap and had commenced another push lap when the red flag was shown. The report stated, “The driver confessed it was particularly challenging to reduce his delta time in the following sector. He also mentioned being confused about the beep signal in his headset, which led him to believe he was driving too slow at one point.”
Despite his infraction, the FIA concluded that Hulkenberg didn’t drive dangerously or unsafely. Nevertheless, the standard penalty for not slowing down during a red flag incident is a ten-grid place deduction. But given the mitigating factors, a lesser penalty was deemed suitable.
Radio communications between Hulkenberg and race engineer Gary Gannon revealed a misunderstanding about the delta time.
The conversation transcript includes the following:
Gannon: Red flag, red flag. Need to be plus on delta time.
Gannon: Your time was good, currently P2.
Gannon: Piastri crashed, switch to mode “slow”.
Hulkenberg: Should I be negative or positive?
Gannon: You need to be positive now, slow down.
Hulkenberg: I believe I’m driving too slow.
Gannon: It’s too fast, slow down, it’s a red flag.
Gannon: We’ll box now.
Additional penalties were issued in the race. Lance Stroll got a three-place grid penalty for obstructing Esteban Ocon in Q2, while Yuki Tsunoda was cleared of impeding Charles Leclerc but received a three-place penalty for blocking Hulkenberg during Q1.
Despite the penalty, Hulkenberg advanced into Q2 at Tsunoda’s expense, who failed to improve his final lap. Carlos Sainz also received a three-place grid penalty for blocking Pierre Gasly.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Hulkenberg F1 grid penalty
What penalty did Hulkenberg receive at the Canadian Grand Prix?
Hulkenberg, a Haas driver, received a three-place grid penalty at the Canadian Grand Prix for violating the minimum delta time during a red flag situation.
Why was the penalty imposed on Hulkenberg?
The penalty was imposed because Hulkenberg violated the FIA ECU minimum delta time while returning to the pits during the red flag situation in Q3.
Who replaced Hulkenberg on the front row due to his penalty?
Due to Hulkenberg’s penalty, Fernando Alonso joined Max Verstappen on the front row.
What did the official FIA report say about Hulkenberg’s penalty?
The FIA report noted that while Hulkenberg had not driven dangerously or unsafely, he was 1.5 seconds over his delta time when the red flag was shown, and he found it extremely difficult to reduce his delta time in the following sector.
Were there other penalties issued during this race?
Yes, additional penalties were issued during the race. Lance Stroll and Carlos Sainz received a three-place grid penalty for impeding Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly, respectively. Yuki Tsunoda was also penalized with a three-place grid drop for blocking Hulkenberg during Q1.