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How Williams saved Russell from FIA penalty

How Williams saved Russell from FIA penalty

F1 News

How Williams saved Russell from FIA penalty

How Williams saved Russell from FIA penalty

George Russell thanked the FIA stewards for using "common sense" in Hungary but it was his Williams team that saved him from receiving a penalty.

Only Lewis Hamilton took the Hungarian Grand Prix restart from the grid after the remainder of the field pitted for slick tyres.

Williams holds the final garage in the pitlane and Russell took advantage of this to gamble on passing a number of cars to climb from eighth to second by driving along the apron to the pit exit.

Despite thanking the FIA for allowing him to simply hand back the positions to not incur a penalty, his team radio demonstrates it was race engineer James Unwin that gave the instruction to drop back.

"Give up the position to get behind Alonso," Unwin told Russell. "You need to drop back five cars, at least five cars. You need to be behind Alonso, ahead of Raikkonen."

Russell's move a gamble worth taking

Conceding he had not known if his actions in the pitlane were legal, Russell explained the rewards on offer "outweighed the risk".

Despite the move not yielding the immediate results hoped for, Russell and team-mate Nicholas Latifi were still able to register Williams' first points of the year finishing seventh and eighth after Sebastian Vettel's disqualification.

“Well firstly, I thought I was leading the race at some point," Russell explained.

"I’ve got to be honest, it was, just on that restart, a very odd situation we were having with everybody queuing up at the end of the pitlane.

“In an ordinary circumstance, you can overtake cars in the pitlane or you can pull out and race them.

“I saw an opportunity and I thought ‘screw it, let’s go for it’.

“The risk versus reward, the reward far outweighed the risk and really [I’m] thankful to the FIA for showing a bit of common sense just to say to give those positions back because they could comfortably have given me a drive-through.

“So that was great.”

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