Russell drops three places for Kvyat incident

Jamie Woodhouse
Williams' George Russell has been given a three-place grid penalty in Austria for "ruining" Daniil Kvyat's qualifying.

George Russell has been given a three-place grid penalty in Austria for "ruining" Daniil Kvyat's qualifying.

George Russell joins Lewis Hamilton in getting a three-place grid penalty in Austria after “ruining” Daniil Kvyat’s qualifying.

Russell caught and slowed behind a train of cars at the final two corners in Spielberg, but as the Russian came around the blind bend to approach the train, he was forced to take quick action and swerve around Russell.

Kvyat’s lap was ruined and he was eliminated in Q1 as a result.

“Car 63 [Russell] was not given the requisite warning by the team in a timely fashion about car 26 [Kvyat] approaching on a fast lap,” noted the stewards in their report.

“Furthermore, the situation was compounded by car 23 [Albon] overtaking car 63 during a slow lap, just before the incident in question.”

Kvyat was furious with Russell for his actions – he was just thankful that “nothing worse than that happened”.

“What can I say?,” the Toro Rosso man told reporters.

“These things happen, I got blocked today, my qualifying was ruined. I was surprised to see the car right there on the line. I think we also have to be grateful that nothing worse than that happened.

“I think if I would have committed to the corner already, it would have been hard to avoid. But luckily I saw something white entering the corner and then I had to do this [turn left]. It wasn’t pleasant from inside the car, that’s for sure.”

Kvyat confirmed that the Brit had apologised to him, but urged the Williams racer to be more vigilant going forward.

“He said, ‘Sorry, but look, the team didn’t say to me anything,’ when we were at stewards and its true. But I think in qualy you always should double check the mirrors yourself. But the speed difference was huge as well, so its hard for me to judge,” he admitted.

“I think 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.”

Russell believed Williams were caught “off guard” when he faced questions over why the team failed to warn him of the approaching Kvyat.

“I didn’t know there were any cars coming up behind me,” he told Sky Sports.

“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. A bit frustrating really, just one of those things.

“Usually quick cars on track are going about 40 seconds a lap quicker than you. You get the messages from the team.

“I think the team 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.”

Due to Alex Albon and Carlos Sainz being forced to start at the back, Russell will still start Sunday’s race from P198, with team-mate Robert Kubica moving up to P17.

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