Russell issued grid penalty for British GP

  • Published on 01 Aug 2020 19:17
  • comments 1
  • By: Fergal Walsh

George Russell has been handed a five-place grid penalty for failing to respect yellow flags during qualifying for the British Grand Prix on Saturday.

Yellow flags were deployed at Turn 7 when Russell's teammate Nicholas Latifi spun into the gravel at the end of Q1.

Russell was adamant over team radio that he backed off and said his throttle trace would offer a defence.

However, the Briton is now set to start his home race from the back of the grid after the stewards opted to penalise him with a five-place grid penalty and three penalty points on his super licence.

A statement from the FIA highlighted that Russell was not informed that a double-waved yellow flag had been deployed, and noted that although he lifted off, he went on to complete his fastest lap of the session.

“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,” reads the statement. 

“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 statement continued: “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.”

Russell is the second driver this weekend to receive a grid drop after AlphaTauri chose to replace Daniil Kvyat's gearbox for the event at Silverstone

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  • Team Mercedes
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