Ok it is a little bit of a quiet news week this week, which gives me the opportunity to talk about one of my other passions, F1.  It was the first race of the year this month in Austria.  Did social media affect Lewis Hamilton’s qualifying results?

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Ok it is a little bit of a quiet news week this week, which gives me the opportunity to talk about one of my other passions, F1.  It was the first race of the year this month in Austria.  Did social media affect Lewis Hamilton’s qualifying results?

I’ve not really heard about something like this happening before so wanted to talk about it today.  On Sat 4th it was the first qualifying session of the 2020 season with Mercedes looking like a sure thing for a front row grid lockout – but that is not quite what happened.

On the final lap of Q3 and each driver was getting their last chance to hit that top time that would result in their grid positions for Sunday’s race.  Valtteri Bottas leading the procession of drivers on their flying lap pushed too hard and ended up in the gravel pit.  Yellow flags were shown and the session was finished.  Lewis was called to the scruitineers office and was assessed for not slowing for the yellow flag, there was no penalty applied.

The next day after teams had uploaded 360 degree video from the cars, social media users noticed that Lewis had passed two yellow flags without slowing, then about an hour and half before the race Redbull protested again with this new evidence and the Mercedes driver was handed a 3 place starting penalty.

I have never known social media to have influenced sport like this before.