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Russell questions 'harsh' penalty after 'bold' Perez move

George Russell has shared his side of the story after a first-lap clash with Sergio Perez in Austria landed him a five-second time penalty.

George Russell believes he was treated harshly by the Austrian Grand Prix stewards after he received a penalty for his clash with Sergio Perez. Perez got a run on fourth-placed Russell around the outside of Turn 4 on the opening lap, managing to get the nose of his Red Bull in front of the Mercedes. But as the pair worked their way through the corner, Russell's front-left wheel made contact with Perez's sidepod and sent the Mexican into the gravel trap. While Perez emerged from the gravel and returned to the track, significant bodywork damage meant Red Bull soon instructed him to retire the car. Russell, meanwhile, struggled on with a damaged front wing, before pitting for repairs on Lap 11 of 71 – also serving a five-second time penalty for his actions.

Russell says he had "nowhere to go" as Perez attacked

After Perez hit out at Russell for a "very surprising" move, the Briton gave his version of events and questioned the penalty handed out to him. "I've looked at the video and I think it was harsh," he told media, including RacingNews365.com . "I mean, you are racing at the start, the cars are everywhere. Checo did do a bold move going down the outside like that. "He's done it before. I think he did it with Valtteri [Bottas] yesterday as well, and Valtteri had to get right on top of the kerbs to avoid him. "[This was] exactly what I tried to do, but with Carlos [Sainz] ahead of me, it made things difficult, and there's only so much you can brake and steer, and ultimately I had nowhere to go."

Russell lost "a second a lap" with crash damage

Russell maintained fourth after the clash but lamented a missed shot at the podium as he struggled for pace ahead of his earlier-than-scheduled stop. He was then forced to fight his way back through the field to follow teammate Lewis Hamilton over the line. "I lost a huge amount of lap time with the damage – probably a second a lap," Russell commented. "Then to find out I got the penalty, then obviously the front wing change, a 20-second-long pit-stop... "I guess it wasn't bad in the end to finish where we did, coming back through the traffic, a minute behind the leader, although we obviously did an extra pit-stop."

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