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George Russell

Russell hit with grid penalty for Sprint Shootout breach

George Russell allegedly blocked Charles Leclerc during the United States Grand Prix Sprint Shootout.

Russell Austin
To news overview © XPBimages

George Russell has been dropped three places on the grid for the United States Grand Prix Sprint after being found guilty of impeding Charles Leclerc in Sprint Shootout.

The Mercedes driver continued his struggles so far this weekend to finish only eighth fastest in the shortened qualifying format having had no fresh Soft tyres available for his final effort.

But his investigation was prompted by an incident in SQ1, where the Briton was found stuck on the racing line on the exit of Turn 19 in preparation for his final attempt of the segment.

Leclerc was approaching on a fast lap and had nowhere to go, having to take avoiding action before the final corner at the Circuit of the Americas.

In making the decision, a stewards' report read: "Car 63 [Russell] entered the last two corners preparing for his flying lap at the end of SQ1 with Car 16 [Leclerc] closing in quickly.

"Whilst the team did inform the driver about the closing car a few seconds in advance, there was no further information directly before Car 63 entered Turn 19 with Car 16 right behind. Car 63 did not move from the racing line in or after Turn 19 and therefore unnecessarily impeded Car 16.

"The Stewards note that irrespective of any information coming from the team, it is the driver’s responsibility to ensure that no other cars are unnecessarily impeded."

F1 2023 United States Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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