George Russell wants Charles Leclerc to be penalised

George Russell was stuck behind Charles Leclerc during his opening stint at the 2023 British GP.

George Russell was left frustrated at the British Grand Prix last weekend, after believing that Charles Leclerc broke the rules.

Russell started his home race in sixth but managed to claim a place to cross the line in fifth, following an excellent first stint on the Soft compound.

The Soft compound wasn’t expected to last very long; however, the Mercedes driver stretched his Soft tyres to a 28-lap stint.

It proved to the paddock that tyre degradation was actually surprisingly low, something which saw many complete a Medium-Soft strategy.

Want to work in Formula 1? Browse the latest F1 job vacancies

Russell did the opposite and completed a Soft-Medium strategy, although a late Safety Car robbed him of a potential podium.

The 25-year-old completed his first stop prior to a Safety Car being released, something which several drivers benefitted from.

Most of the leading drivers pitted when the Safety Car board was shown, allowing them to lose less time whilst in the pit-lane.

It meant Russell failed to capitalise on his fresh Medium tyres, with him having lost out to the likes of Lewis Hamilton.

Article continues below

Due to the Safety Car, fifth was arguably the best Russell could’ve managed, especially after he was stuck behind Leclerc for a large portion of his opening stint.

Russell did try to overtake Leclerc at Club corner, only for the Monegasque to suddenly move under braking.

The Mercedes driver thinks if it hadn’t been for Leclerc’s move, he could’ve extended his stint on the Soft tyres “even further” due to the clean air he would’ve been in.

“I felt good on those tyres,” Russell said, as reported by “And that was 28 laps within one second of a car ahead.

“I think I could have extended even further had it been clear air. I felt really good on that on that tyre, it felt really good on our car.

“I did my best to overtake Charles, some questionable defending at points. But it wouldn’t have changed my race. Had I got past him, it probably would have meant I would have boxed even earlier.

“Probably both the McLarens would have pitted to cover me. So I still probably would have finished fifth.”

READ: Lando Norris says he’s open to leaving McLaren after Red Bull meeting

When asked by to clarify on what Leclerc did wrong, Russell insisted that the Ferrari driver’s change of direction whilst braking was “clearly not allowed in the rules”, despite the fact he wasn’t penalised by the stewards.

“It was just about braking into Turn 16. I was about to lunge him down inside and right at the braking zone he came across pretty aggressively,” Russell said.

“That’s clearly not allowed in the rules. I think they gave him a slap on the wrist. But you know when you got one overtaking opportunity and [he gets] sort of a warning for it, it’s a bit frustrating.”