George Russell has been handed a three-place grid drop for the British Grand Prix after causing a collision with Carlos Sainz during the inaugural 100km sprint.
The Williams driver was on the inside of Ferrari's Sainz at Brooklands on the first of 17 laps before a touch between the front right of Russell's car and the rear left of the Ferrari sent Sainz to the back of the pack.
Whilst the Spaniard fought back valiantly to finish 11th, Russell held onto a top 10 finish but will now surrender three places on the grid for the main grand prix.
A stewards' report read: 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 onto the grass. Car 63 is judged at fault for the incident.
On why a grid penalty was given in place of a time penalty, the report added: "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 and Sainz disagree over fault
Ahead of the stewards' verdict, Sainz explained he "wouldn't mind" a small penalty to be handed to Russell due to the fact the Williams would have started ahead for the grand prix after the incident.
"I think I deserve to be in front of him," he explained. "Starting tomorrow it would be a bit unfair for him to start the race in front of me after the obvious mistake he did today.
"It happens to all of us, it has happened to me in the past but you also need to accept the consequences of when you do these sort of mistakes.
"Normally the stewards on lap one, they kind of close their eyes a bit more compared to later in the race but for me, this mistake was a bit too obvious."
Citing the first lap leniency usually employed by stewards, when asked if he was at all worried about being handed a penalty, Russell had insisted: "No, not at all, to be honest.
"I was on the inside, he was on the outside, sort of coming in at me, closing the door.
"Just the angle he came on me, there was nothing I could have done.
"I ended up locking up to get out of the way, which shows there was nothing more I could have done. It was one of those racing incidents."
The decision means Russell will start 12th for his home race.
What do you think?
Let's remember that the FIA = Ferrari International Assistance and normal rules don't apply? This is a disgrace from the people who want to see racing but punish you when you actually race. I can't wait til this year is done and finished and we get the new cars for next year. Already placed my bet on max ver for the win this year, great odds too given I placed it before the first race and got 7/1
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