George Russell has been handed a three-place grid penalty for the British Grand Prix after his collision with Carlos Sainz at the start of the Sprint.
Sainz was attempting to overtake Russell around the outside into Brooklands at the end of the first sector when the Williams driver locked up and understeered into the Ferrari, tapping Sainz wide. Sainz lost a number of positions in the incident and after an investigation the stewards decided to award Russell with a three-place grid penalty.
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“Cars 63 (Russell) and 55 (Sainz) approached Turn 6 with Car 63 on the inside, in the middle of the track, and Car 55 on the outside. Car 63 locked the front brakes briefly and then understeered towards the edge of the track at the exit of the turn and contacted Car 55, which was forced off the circuit and on to the grass. Car 63 is judged at fault for the incident.
“The Stewards note that breaches of the regulations of this sort in a race normally result in time penalties, which are scaled based on normal Grand Prix race lengths. Both because of the shorter length of Sprint Qualifying and because it is used to establish the grid for the race, the Stewards feel that grid position penalties, as imposed here, are more appropriate.”
Russell will start from 12th as a result of the penalty having finished the Sprint in ninth place, while Esteban Ocon, Sainz and Pierre Gasly all move up a spot.
Sainz was also investigated for the way he rejoined the track after the incident but the stewards decided to take no further action as they felt he acceptably tried to mitigate the risks in a dangerous situation, while the Spaniard, Sebastian Vettel and Nikita Mazepin all received warnings for not following the race director’s instructions when practicing starts in FP2.