The emergence of a 360-degree camera angle on Lewis Hamilton’s car prompted Red Bull to undertake a successful review into his Q3 incident in Austria, according to the team.
Stewards investigated Hamilton post-qualifying for allegedly failing to slow for yellow flags and he was ultimately cleared as footage “confirmed there have been yellow flags and green light panels at the same time, and therefore conflicting signals were shown to the driver.”
But early on Sunday afternoon it was confirmed that Red Bull had lodged a right to review due to the emergence of new evidence, which was the 360-degree camera affixed to Hamilton’s Mercedes.
Stewards accepted the new evidence and deemed that “the new video footage clearly shows that a yellow light panel was flashing on the left side of the track in Turn 5.”
Hamilton was demoted from second to fifth on the grid as a result.
“It was pointed out to us on social media that there was a different camera angle, with a 360-degree camera, that showed very clearly there was a yellow light box that he had driven through,” said Red Bull boss Christian Horner, whose drivers Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon both gained one grid spot as a result, starting second and fourth respectively.
“It only seemed consistent with Mexico , so we asked the FIA to have another look at it and they said they hadn’t seen that footage previously, so for whatever reason they hadn’t had the access or looked at the camera.”
Formula 1’s Race Director Michael Masi confirmed that stewards were not in possession of the 360-degree camera at the time of the hearing due to the logistics of the technology.
“It’s actually something that we’ve been speaking with FOM,” he said.
“Obviously it’s not something available live due to bandwidth, it effectively needs to be downloaded off the car, processed etc.”
Masi also clarified that Red Bull’s request to re-open the case was not a protest but a review.
“We’re quite fortunate that a couple of years ago now the right of review was included within the International Sporting Code,” he said.
“We saw that it got used last year [by Ferrari in Canada] and what was raised was not a new and significant element.
“I think there’s been some misquotation that it was a protest from Red Bull, it wasn’t actually a protest, it was a question they raised of ‘is this a new and significant element?’
“That’s why there were two separate decisions, so that’s why the first decision is ‘is it a new and significant element’, the stewards determined that yes it was, then as a result of that they determined that if they had had that footage [on Saturday] they would have deemed [it a penalty] and got to the same decision they did prior to the race.”