Russell hit with five-place grid drop for home grand prix
George Russell has been handed a five-place grid penalty for the British Grand Prix that will see him now drop to the back of the field.
Russell produced another superb performance for Williams in escaping Q1 for the third consecutive race, and was poised to start home event at Silverstone from 15th.
But he was caught avoiding double yellow flags at the end of Q1, ironically after team-mate Nicholas Latifi had spun off the track.
The penalty will now see Russell start from 20th and last, alongside AlphaTauri's Daniil Kvyat who collected his own five-place penalty for a gearbox change.
The stewards, after reviewing video, radio, telemetry and marshalling system
evidence, noted: "The driver, Russell, explained to the stewards that he only saw the double yellow flag signal at Turn 7 in his peripheral vision and believed it was just a single yellow.
"He lifted slightly earlier than he had on his previous lap, but his speed was not “significantly” slower than previous laps, although he explained that he was in full control of the car and felt that he would have been able to take avoiding action if needed; and further that he was at a similar speed because he was on a faster lap overall.
"The stewards reviewed the team radio and noted that the team warned him that a
yellow was ahead. They did not specify that it was a double yellow flag.
"Further, they did not advise him that he needed to abort the lap, following the race director’s notes in this regard that he should not be able to set a meaningful lap time.
"This was, in fact, his fastest lap of Q1.
"The purpose of the race director’s note is to emphasise the extreme importance of
the necessity to follow the flag signals for safety reasons.
"While the stewards explored all possible mitigating factors, they ultimately determined that it was the responsibility of the driver to see and follow the double yellow flag signal correctly in a potentially very dangerous situation. The team could certainly have helped more in this regard.
"But ultimately, he could not set a meaningful lap time in this circumstance, and therefore order a five grid place penalty and three penalty points."
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