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Kvyat nears race ban after penalty for blocking Stroll

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Daniil Kvyat is now just two penalty points away from a Formula 1 race ban after being sanctioned by the stewards for blocking Lance Stroll during qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Kvyat arrived in Hungary with nine penalty points on his FIA super license for various incidents over the past 12 months, only to receive another one after qualifying.

The Toro Rosso driver was adjudged to have impeded Stroll during a hot lap in Q1, prompting the stewards to also hand him a three-place grid penalty.

Kvyat will therefore start 16th in Hungary on Sunday, lifting Sergio Perez, Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen one place each on the grid.

With 10 points on his super license, Kvyat is now just two away from a race ban, and will remain so until the United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas this October.

“Unfortunately, I’ve been penalized with a three position grid penalty for tomorrow’s race, so I will now be starting from P16,” Kvyat said.

“There was a bit of a miscommunication, so I didn’t know that anyone was coming behind and we’ve now got a penalty for blocking another car…

“It’s a shame, because today had been quite a good day: our overall performance and my feeling with the car was okay, even if the balance changed a bit throughout the qualifying session. I just missed out on Q3 by a couple of tenths but we ended up more or less where we expected to be.

“My feeling with the car is quite good and now all I can hope for is a different type of race, an eventful one, otherwise it will be difficult to overtake here. We will obviously try and do our best, make our tyres last and see where we end up.”

The Hungarian Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app from 7am ET on Sunday.

Valtteri Bottas wins chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix

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SPIELBERG, Austria — Valtteri Bottas won a chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix while six-time series champion Lewis Hamilton finished fourth after getting a late time penalty Sunday.

The Formula One race was interrupted three times by a safety car, and nine of 20 drivers abandoned, including both Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon – who tried to overtake Hamilton on the outside with 10 laps left, touched wheels and flew off track.

Hamilton was given a 5-second time penalty for causing the collision, having earlier been hit with a three-place grid penalty after an incident in Saturday’s qualifying was reviewed by stewards.

SHOW OF SUPPORT: Drivers take knee before race

Bottas led all 71 laps in the eighth victory of his career. It was the second consecutive victory in the season opener for the Finn, though he won four months earlier in 2019 after this season’s start was delayed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Lando Norris of McLaren F1 celebrates after his first podium finish (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).

Bottas started from pole position and Hamilton from fifth, but it looked like a straight fight between the two Mercedes drivers as has been the case so often in recent years.

But late drama in Spielberg ensured otherwise and Hamilton’s time penalty meant Charles Leclerc took second place for Ferrari, and Lando Norris sent McLaren’s garage into raptures – and threw all social distancing rules out of the window amid the euphoria – with third place.

It was the 20-year-old British driver’s first career podium, and his superb final lap was the fastest of a dramatic season opener.

Norris became the youngest British driver to secure a podium finish and the third-youngest ever in Formula One.

Valtteri Bottas leads Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton during the Formula One Grand Prix of Austria (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).