George Russell accepts responsibility

George Russell scored just a point in the US GP sprint race following a five-second time penalty.

George Russell was quick to accept responsibility for the two penalties he received on Sprint Saturday at the United States Grand Prix, which ultimately ruined his day.

Russell was on the receiving end of a three-place grid penalty during the sprint shootout after impeding Charles Leclerc, something which demoted him to P11.

“And penalty for Mr Russell, thank you,” Leclerc comically said over the radio following the incident.

Starting from outside the top-10 certainly made Russell’s sprint race more challenging than it needed to be, especially as Lewis Hamilton proved that the W14 has pace at the Circuit of the Americas, having qualified third for both the sprint and the main race.

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Russell started well and made up a few places, before he was penalised for the second time on Saturday, this time for overtaking Oscar Piastri whilst all four wheels were beyond the white line.

The 25-year-old failed to give the place back straight away and instead received a five-second time penalty, which demoted him from seventh to eighth at the end of the race.

In hindsight, Russell should’ve just given the place back even if he also slipped behind Pierre Gasly, as it was the Frenchman who was promoted to P7.

The Briton admitted after the sprint that he had no complaints with either penalty, after what he described as a “scrappy day”.

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“It’s been a bit of a scrappy day for me,” Russell said after the sprint race, as reported by The Mirror. “Both penalties that I received today were fair. I was unable to give the position back to Piastri in the Sprint as [Pierre] Gasly had already passed him.

“If I let Piastri past, I would have had to let Gasly past too. It was a bit of a shame as it was an optimistic move from myself. Ultimately, though, there aren’t a huge amount of points up for grabs on a Saturday.”

Sunday’s race should be better for Russell, as he starts from P5.

Mercedes’ race pace has tended to be strong this season, with the King’s Lynn-born driver expecting an “interesting race” to unfold.

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“We’re in a good place to fight for a podium from P5 tomorrow. It’s going to be an interesting race,” Russell added.

“The tyres felt good in the Sprint but that was helped by the cloudy conditions and the temperature dropping a little.

“It will be close between a one and a two-stop tomorrow and we’re going to have to be dynamic in order to react to the situation. We should have a good fight with the Ferraris and the McLaren of [Lando] Norris. We may have the speed on them, but they are starting ahead so we will see what we can do.”