BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Race stewards upheld Romain Grosjean’s third place on the Hungarian Grand Prix starting grid on Saturday after deciding that accidental damage had caused his Lotus to fail a post-qualifying stress test.
Technical delegate Jo Bauer had referred Lotus to the stewards after the front floor of the Frenchman’s car was found to be in breach of the technical regulations because its front floor flexed more than permitted when a load was applied at a given point.
The stewards, one of them former Formula One racer and Le Mans winner Allan McNish, decided to take no further action after finding that the car had suffered a heavy impact in the second phase of qualifying when it ‘bottomed’ at turn 11.
“This is deemed to be a case of accidental damage, not a case of non-compliance,” they ruled in a statement.
Grosjean had qualified behind Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, on pole, and Red Bull’s triple champion Sebastian Vettel.
A sanction would have lifted Ferrari’s title contender Fernando Alonso, who is second overall and 34 points behind Vettel, from fifth to fourth.
Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Stephen Wood and Pritha Sarkar