Hulkenberg handed grid penalty for tyre error

Nico Hulkenberg has been relegated one position on the German Grand Prix grid to eighth place as a result of a tyre error by Force India.

Following the end of qualifying, Hulkenberg was investigated after the team used a set of tyres which was labelled to be returned to Pirelli after the final practice session on Saturday morning. Explaining the decision, the stewards said: “During Q1 tyres without appropriate identification were used.

“The team returned electronically the wrong set of tyres and used these during Q1.”

With Hulkenberg going on to reach Q3 and set his best time on a different set of tyres, the German originally qualified in seventh place. However, the stewards imposed a drop of one grid position for the error, relegating him to eighth behind Valtteri Bottas.

Bottas will start seventh ahead of Hulkenberg, with the second Force India of Sergio Perez in ninth and Felipe Massa’s Williams tenth on the grid.

Starting with 13 sets of slick tyres at the beginning of the race weekend, teams have to hand back four sets of tyres by the end of Friday practice – one set after 40 minutes in FP1, one at the end of the first session and two after FP2 – and another two sets following FP3.

Carlos Sainz was also penalised after qualifying, with the Toro Rosso driver being given a three-place grid penalty as a result of impeding Massa at Turn 2 at the start of Q2.

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