Yuki Tsunoda slapped with penalty after Lewis Hamilton incident

Lewis Hamilton had a mixed 2023 Dutch Grand Prix, as he complained about numerous drivers.

Lewis Hamilton endured an eventful and disastrous qualifying on Saturday at the Dutch Grand Prix, which saw him eliminated in Q2.

The seven-time World Champion will start from 13th on the grid on Sunday, after setting his quickest lap in Q2 too early.

Similar to the Belgian Grand Prix, qualifying started in wet conditions but improved throughout the session.

This meant the circuit ramped up in pace every second, meaning that the circuit was at its best in the final minute of each part of qualifying.

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Hamilton failed to make the most of the conditions and used up his tyres too early, with him admitting that at the end of the session his tyres were overheating.

As a result, he failed to improve, although this wasn’t entirely his fault.

Hamilton was impeded in Q1 and Q2, in what was a busy session.

Hamilton would’ve potentially made it into Q3 had he not been blocked by Yuki Tsunoda, who was going slow whilst preparing for his lap.

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“Tsunoda was on the dry racing line at the exit of Turn 13 preparing for his fast lap and had not fully come up to speed and therefore impeded Hamilton,” the stewards said.

Tsunoda informed the stewards that he was driving slowly as another car passed him, an explanation which the stewards felt still warranted a three-place grid penalty.

“Tsunoda explained that he had been passed by another car and decided to remain slow in order to regain his gap,” the stewards continued.

The stewards added: “In the opinion of the Stewards Tsunoda clearly had the ability to stay off the line and therefore this impeding was unnecessary,” the stewards noted.

Tsunoda will start from 17th rather than 14th as a result of the grid drop, whilst Lance Stroll escaped punishment for impeding Hamilton in Q1.

Stroll was also going slowly as he was preparing for his own lap, before speeding up in the final corner.

However, he wasn’t going quickly enough to avoid impacting Hamilton.

“Stroll was on a prep lap and Hamilton was on a fast lap both approaching Turn 13,” wrote the stewards.

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“The stewards observed that Stroll had stayed out of the way of several cars from Turn 10 through Turn 12. He then started accelerating for the next lap early enough that he should have not impeded Hamilton. His speed at the apex of Turn 13 was similar to fast cars at that point. However, at the exit of Turn 13 he had not gained enough momentum and affected Hamilton’s lap.”

Despite the stewards recognising that Hamilton’s lap was affected by Stroll, they decided not to penalise him.

“In the opinion of the stewards, while Hamilton was impeded, Stroll’s behaviour did not rise to the level of ‘unnecessarily impeding’ as specified in the regulations,” the stewards said.