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nico hulkenberg penalty montreal f1

Alonso on front row after Hulkenberg penalty

Alonso on front row after Hulkenberg penalty nico hulkenberg penalty montreal f1

Fernando Alonso was promoted to the front row of the Canadian Grand Prix starting grid after the unexpected star of qualifying – Nico Hulkenberg – collected a three-place penalty for an infringement that drops him to P5 on the grid.

On Saturday, Haas driver Hulkenberg had qualified second, with Red Bull’s Formula 1 world championship leader Max Verstappen claiming pole position, but demoted for failing to stay above a minimum time when red flags were waved to end an incident-strewn and at times treacherous session.

Afterwards, FIA race stewards said in a statement: “The regulation is very clear and whilst there is no question of the driver acting dangerously or driving unsafely, there was a breach and thus a penalty has to be imposed.

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“The normal penalty for failure to slow under red flags is 10 grid positions however in view of the mitigating circumstance, a lower penalty is appropriate. We note the intention of the regulation is to ensure a car is not speeding during a red flag situation and there is no evidence that the speed was excessive in this case.”

Thus Alonso’s Aston Martin will line up on the front row, in P2, alongside pole winner Max Verstappen.

Second place would have been the highest position a Haas driver has started a regular grand prix. Hulkenberg’s teammate Kevin Magnussen qualified on pole for a sprint race in Brazil last November but started the regular grand prix in eighth place. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin)