2022 Austrian GP: Stewards reach verdict regarding George Russell penalty

George Russell will start the Austrian Grand Prix sprint race in fourth after his crash.

Mercedes driver George Russell has received a telling off from the stewards after he walked across the racetrack following his crash during qualifying at the Austrian Grand Prix.

Russell and team-mate Sir Lewis Hamilton both lost the back end during the third and final qualifying session and found the barrier at Turn 10 and Turn Seven respectively, so it was a tough day for the Silver Arrows having initially looked as though they could challenge Ferrari and Red Bull.

Hamilton was the first to collide with the wall, losing the rear in a possible tailwind as his car stepped out at Turn Seven, and he was headed straight for the scene of the accident as he crashed into the wall.

The red flag was bought out as a result as the marshals fixed the wall and cleared the seven-time champion’s car, and Russell was immediately sent out onto the track when the session went green again.

On his first timed lap back out though, the 24-year-old took too much kerb on the way into Turn 10, unbalancing the rear and sending him spinning into the barrier.

READ: George Russell reveals if he’s expecting Mercedes to challenge for wins in 2022

During the subsequent red flag period, Russell walked across the track to get back to the pit lane, but he had not been permission to do so yet.

The stewards had a look, and decided that a warning was punishment enough, given that the red flag was out and there were subsequently no cars coming round the final corner.

Russell had set a lap good enough for P5, with Hamilton in 10th behind Fernando Alonso, but Sergio Perez was penalised later that evening for going off the circuit in Q2.

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This invalidated his lap time in that session, so the stewards sent him back from fourth to 13th, as his best valid lap was only good enough for that position.

It means that Russell will now start the sprint race on Saturday in P4, with Hamilton behind in ninth.

Max Verstappen beat the Ferrari pair of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz to P1, which will only officially become pole if the Dutchman wins the sprint.