Lewis Hamilton says he made concerted attempts not to block Kimi Raikkonen in Austria Grand Prix qualifying, as a potential penalty hangs over his head.
Hamilton qualified second-fastest at the Red Bull Ring, but could take a three-place penalty if stewards deem him to have blocked Raikkonen in Q1.
Both drivers made it through the segment, although Carlos Sainz was punished for blocking Alex Albon in Canada – and both went through on the occasion too.
Hamilton pointed a cautious finger of fault towards his team, claiming he had not been made aware that Raikkonen was approaching on a flying lap.
Asked for his observations on the matter, Hamilton said: “I saw one of the teams’ cars came by and I was braking for the hairpin, Turn 3, and I saw the other one coming.
“So I just got off the brakes and tried to go straight on to try and get out the way, because I didn’t want to meet them in the corner.
“And I don’t think I met them in the corner, but I think that probably put them off I’d have thought.
“So it wasn’t ideal and I wasn’t aware that car was coming, so… not the easiest.”
Raikkonen said Hamilton’s actions were baffling to him, although in the heat of the moment he was angered enough to aim a one-fingered salute towards the Mercedes.
He told Sky Sports: “I’ve seen enough of the stewards lately! I don’t know why he didn’t slow down or let me pass. He kind of slowed down and sped up and went over the racing line.”