Formula One governing body FIA finally decided that, not to act on a regulation that could have sent Daniel Ricciardo, Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez, Nico Hulkenberg and Valtteri Bottas toward the back of the Hungarian GP grid, and all five now retain their original positions.
Red Bull duo, Force India drivers and Bottas were unable to complete laps within 107% of Nico Rosberg’s leading time of 1m33.302s and could have been put to the back and lined up in practice three-result order.
Article 35.1 of the sporting regulations states: “During Q1, any driver whose best qualifying lap exceeds 107% of the fastest time set during that session, or who fails to set a time, will not be allowed to take part in the race.
“Under exceptional circumstances however, which may include setting a suitable lap time in a free practice session, the stewards may permit the car to start the race.
“Any driver accepted in this manner will be placed at the back of the starting grid after any other penalties have been applied.
“Should there be more than one driver accepted in this manner they will be arranged on the grid in the order they were classified in P3.”
But the FIA decided “due to exceptional circumstances experienced during qualifying article 35.2 should take precedence over article 35.1”.
Article 35.2 effectively defines how the Q1/Q2/Q3 system in place since 2006 works, with its wording based on a maximum 26-car field. It reads: “The last eight positions will be occupied by the cars eliminated during Q1, the fastest in 19th position.
“The next eight positions will be occupied by the cars eliminated during Q2, the fastest in 11th position.
“The top 10 positions will be occupied by the cars which took part in Q3, the fastest from the position on the grid which was the pole position in the previous year or, on a new circuit, has been designated as such by the FIA safety delegate.
“Article 17 of the sporting regulations says “appeals may not be made against decision concerning…any decision taken by the stewards in relation to article 35.1.” As a result, the grid remains unchanged.
Unofficial starting grid:
1. Nico Rosberg – Mercedes
2. Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes
3. Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull
4. Max Verstappen – Red Bull
5. Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari
6. Carlos Sainz – Toro Rosso
7. Fernando Alonso – McLaren
8. Jenson Button – McLaren
9. Nico Hulkenberg – Force India
10. Valtteri Bottas – Williams
11. Romain Grosjean – Haas
12. Daniil Kvyat – Toro Rosso
13. Sergio Perez – Force India
14. Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari
15. Esteban Gutierrez – Haas
16. Felipe Nasr – Sauber
17. Jolyon Palmer – Renault
18. Felipe Massa – Williams
19. Kevin Magnussen – Renault
20. Marcus Ericsson – Sauber
21. Pascal Wehrlein – Manor
22. Rio Haryanto – Manor