Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso and Kevin Magnussen have all been cleared of any wrong-doing by the FIA race stewards following qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix today.
All three drivers were called before the stewards after the final part of qualifying for alleged infringements during the session that may have resulted in a grid penalty.
Alonso was accused of blocking Esteban Gutierrez during the wet-dry first part of qualifying today at Albert Park. The Sauber driver failed to make it through to Q2, qualifying down in 19th place and finishing over nine-tenths of a second off of the required time. However, upon analyzing the telemetry and video footage, the stewards deemed that Alonso had not impeded Gutierrez and did not penalize him.
Both Vettel and Magnussen were called to the stewards’ office for going too quickly through the yellow flag zone at turn four at the end of Q2. During the final minute of the session, Kimi Raikkonen spun his Ferrari in the wet conditions, bringing out the yellow flags. Under the rules, drivers must slow down through a yellow flag zone, meaning that none of the drivers were expected to improve their times on their final lap because of this.
Nevertheless, Magnussen still managed to improve and get into Q3, whilst Vettel bettered his time to move up to P12. After qualifying, both drivers were called before the stewards under suspicion of not acknowledging yellow flags.
However, neither driver was found guilty and no grid penalties were imposed. The explanations offered by both drivers and supporting video footage was deemed suffice to clear their names.
Therefore, the grid remains as per qualifying, with the exception of Valtteri Bottas and Esteban Gutierrez’s grid penalties after both made a gearbox change. Magnussen will start from fourth, Alonso will line up one place further back in fifth, and Vettel will start way back down in P12.