BUDAPEST, Hungary -- Six hours and several stewards' statements after the chequered flag flew on the qualifying session for the Hungarian Grand Prix, the FIA has issued the official classification.
By the letter of the law, a quirk in the FIA's Sporting Regulations could have seen the two Red Bulls, two Force Indias and Valtteri Bottas sent towards the back of the grid but ultimately common sense prevailed. The rule in question -- Article 35.1 of the Sporting Regulations -- states that any driver taking part in Q1 who fails to set a time within 107% of the fastest time in that session will not be allowed to take part in the race. A second clause allows for those drivers to start from the back of the grid if they have set a time within 107% of the fastest Q1 time during a practice session.
During Q1 at the Hungarian Grand Prix, 11 drivers -- including the aforementioned -- failed to set a time within 107% of Nico Rosberg's fastest lap, meaning they could have been sent to the back of the grid in the order they set their times in final practice if Article 35.1 had been followed through. However, due to the "exceptional circumstances" of extreme weather and four red flags during Q1, the stewards decided to allow Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo, Nico Hulkenberg, Valtteri Bottas and Sergio Perez to keep their respective grid positions.
The bottom six -- Jolyon Palmer, Felipe Massa, Kevin Magnussen, Marcus Ericsson, Pascal Wehrlein and Rio Haryanto -- did have Article 35.1 applied to their times, meaning they start in the order of their FP3 times ... but it just so happens those were in the same order as their Q1 times.
After much to-ing and fro-ing over the regulations, the result was a completely unchanged grid. Just to ward off any talk of potential protests, it should be noted that Article 17.2 (d) of the Sporting Regulations states that any decision taken by the stewards in relation to Article 35.1 cannot be appealed.