McLaren provide update on Lando Norris’ power unit as Mercedes lament the FIA

George Russell was awarded a 5-second time penalty for colliding with Sergio Pérez at Turn 4 on the opening lap.

George Russell recovered incredibly well at the Austrian Grand Prix, after an early 5-second time penalty saw his hopes of a top five finish appear to vanish.

Russell, who started 4th, made a great start to the race and battled with Carlos Sainz and Sergio Pérez.

However, drama struck at the famous Turn 4, as Russell hit Pérez, who was attempting to go around the outside of the Mercedes driver.

The move ended in the same traditional way, with the driver on the outside ending up in the gravel.

Russell insisted he had nowhere to go, whereas Pérez declared that it was the British driver’s fault.

READ: Helmut Marko reveals why Daniel Ricciardo couldn’t challenge Max Verstappen at Red Bull

Pérez later retired from the race due to significant damage from the collision, which saw him drop to third in the Drivers’ Championship.

Russell was awarded a 5-second time penalty for the collision, which he took at his first pit-stop.

This dropped him well outside the top-ten; however, the former Williams driver performed wonders to get himself back up to 4th.

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As well as the time penalty, Russell had two penalty points added to his superlicence.

Mercedes’ head of trackside engineering Andrew Shovlin was frustrated by the time penalty, insisting that Russell “left more than enough room”.

“We felt that George’s penalty for the incident with Sergio was harsh,” he said. “He was up on the apex kerb and left more than enough room.”

Lando Norris was another driver who performed brilliantly on Sunday; the British driver finished in 7th place, despite having an old power unit (PU) fitted to his car.

The old PU had to be fitted following his new PU failing during Friday’s FP1, costing the McLaren driver a couple of tenths every lap.

With this in mind, a 7th place finish was an excellent effort by Norris, who continues to be the British team’s star driver.

Team principal Andreas Seidl addressed the PU failure, with the McLaren boss remaining “hopeful” that it can be recovered.

“The power unit that failed on Lando’s side on Friday was a brand new one and was his third one,” Seidl confirmed.

“Analysis is still ongoing on Mercedes side and the [High-Performance Powertrains] side at the moment and hopefully we’ll stay in a position to recover the power unit and get it in a better place again.

“It wasn’t ideal that he had to go back to the old power unit but that was the team’s solution on Friday,” explained Seidl.

“Power units are losing a bit of power with every mileage but at the same time, it allowed us to perform as we did this weekend.”

Valtteri Bottas was a driver who didn’t have an enjoyable race at the Red Bull Ring, after finishing 11th following a pit-lane start.

Bottas appeared frustrated after the race, where he raised his concerns that Alfa Romeo’s rivals are making progress with their cars quicker than them.

“Some teams clearly have made progress like for example Williams,” said Bottas. “This weekend they seem better than they have been and Alpine, McLaren were a little bit faster than us. But that was not the case in Silverstone. So we need to keep progressing.”

Bottas saw any hopes of a points finish vanish early on, having been caught up in a DRS train.

“It’s not good but we tried,” said Bottas.

“I pretty quickly realised I was stuck behind the DRS train in the beginning.

“So that’s why we stopped, tried to find some clean air and went to like kind of a hard-hard [tyre strategy]. I think it was the right thing to do, but just didn’t have quite enough pace and Fernando [Alonso] got that one point from me in the last lap with fresh tyres and that was annoying.”