MELBOURNE - The Haas Formula One team have protested against Nico Hulkenberg's seventh-place finish at the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday after late red flags threw the race into confusion, the governing FIA said.

The Haas driver lined up seventh on the grid for the second restart, for a two-lap sprint to decide the winner but he moved up to fourth as cars crashed out in the first lap.

The crashes triggered the third and final red flag.

After lengthy deliberations, stewards decided the race would finish according to grid positions at the restart with a lap behind a safety car minus the cars that had crashed.

That meant Hulkenberg finished seventh, according to the race's provisional classification.

(Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Ed Osmond)