Nico Hulkenberg, Carlos Sainz and Lance Stroll reprimanded for Q3 farce
Three drivers have received reprimands for driving "unnecessarily slowly" during the third part of Italian Grand Prix qualifying.
Nico Hulkenberg, Carlos Sainz and Lance Stroll were found to be the main culprits involved in what Red Bull team boss Christian Horner described as a "clusterf**k" of a session, which saw all but Sainz fail to set a second flying lap time.
This was because the three reprimanded drivers drove too slowly during their out-laps and blocked the track, which meant others behind were unable to get past and failed to cross the start line before the time ran out.
A similar scenario played out during Formula 3 qualifying which saw ten drivers penalised with grid penalties, but the stewards opted against that course of action for Hulkenberg, Sainz and Stroll, instead issuing reprimands.
The stewards ruled all three "played a significant role in the banking up of cars at a critical stage of the final out lap for Q3".
It was added that "the Stewards strongly recommend that the FIA expedite a solution to this type of situation."
Hulkenberg was also investigated for missing Turn 1 by taking the run-off option, which many believed was deliberate, but the FIA sided with Hulkenberg's explanation.
"The driver stated that he was focussing his attention on the cars that were behind him and that he left it too late to turn the corner so he went straight ahead into the chicane.
"The stewards noted that he entered the corner at the same speed as he did on his previous fast lap. He was also in third gear instead of second gear which he used on his previous out lap.
"The stewards note that the regulation refers to ‘deliberately’ leaving the track and in this case we are unable to determine that the driver deliberately left the track."