Lewis Hamilton handed a three-place grid penalty
(Photo: Getty Images/Lars Baron)

Lewis Hamilton has been awarded a three-place grid penalty by the FIA after it was deemed he blocked Kimi Raikkonen in qualifying. 

The five-time champion qualified in second spot behind Charles Leclerc but will now begin the race from fifth position. 

The Brit posted a lap time of 1.03.262, two tenths behind the pole-sitter Leclerc who set the benchmark at 1.03.003. 

Blocking the flying Finn

Going into Turn 3, the championship leader attempted to exit the track in order to let the Finn through as he was on a hot lap, however, it was deemed as interfering with the Alfa Romeo's lap. 

Hamilton was greeted by the Finn with an angry, one-finger gesture as he was forced to scrap his lap. 

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With the Brit now starting from fifth, Max Verstappen will make up the front row with the Monogas youngster. 

Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas will move up the grid to third and Kevin Magnussen will begin in fourth after a sensational qualifying session by the Dane. 

Finally heating up?

It has been a long time coming but it finally looks like Sunday will bring a competitive race which is anyones for the taking. 

Red Bull claimed their first home victory last year as the Dutch driver took advantage of Mercedes' poor strategy and then Hamilton's retirement. 

Bahrain and Canada saw the Ferrari's provide the Silver Arrows serious competition but on both occasions, the Scuderia drivers suffered from misfortune. 

With both Mercedes chasing the front row and the Red Bull of Verstappen in second, it really could provide the first competitive race of the season. 

However, after Bahrain, Leclerc will be looking to claim his first ever victory in Formula One at the age of just 21-year-old.