Russell penalised for Kvyat incident

29/06/2019
NEWS STORY

Williams driver George Russell has been penalised for impeding Daniil Kvyat during today's qualifying session.

In what was a potentially disastrous situation, the Russian driver was forced to go off track at Turn 9 while on his final flying lap, after coming across the Briton who was at the back of a train of cars slowing in the final corners before beginning their own hot laps.

The stewards noted that Russell was not given the requisite warning by his team in a timely fashion about Kvyat approaching on a fast lap. Furthermore, the situation was compounded by Alexander Albon overtaking Russell during a slow lap, just before the incident.

Deeming that Russell unnecessarily impeded Kvyat, a breach of Article 31.5 of the Sporting Regulations, Russell, who qualified 19th, will drop 3 grid positions in addition to receiving 1 penalty point.

"I didn't know there were any cars coming up behind me," Russell told Sky ahead of the investigation. "I was warming tyres up and there was a bunch of cars ahead, and the next thing I know Dany is sort of driving around the outside of the track.

"Usually quick cars on track are going about 40 seconds a lap quicker than you and you get the messages from the team," he added. "I think the team was caught off guard maybe, because everyone ahead was massively backing up, we would have expected to be across the line by that point already. I was focussing on the road ahead and didn't realise anyone was behind me."

Speaking after the investigation, Kvyat revealed that Russell had apologised. "He said, 'sorry, but look, the team didn't say to me anything', but I think in qualifying you should always double check the mirrors yourself.

"The speed difference was huge, so it's hard for me to judge.

"The thing is we have to be advised by the team, and we have to look at our mirrors as well. Especially in qualifying, when the penalty comes. Otherwise, I don't have anything more to add to this episode."

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Published: 29/06/2019
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