Russell handed 3-place grid penalty for Sainz touch after 'obvious mistake'

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George Russell has been given a three-place grid penalty for the British Grand Prix after contact with Carlos Sainz during Saturday's Sprint Qualifying.

The pair met at the same point in Brooklands on the opening lap, with the Ferrari driver dropping to the back of the field having been pushed off the track by the Williams driver.

After a lengthy investigation, the stewards deemed a small lock-up and subsequent understeer for Russell put him at fault for the incident, with Sainz under no illusions about who was to blame.

“I think it was a pretty obvious mistake by George there,” he told Sky Sports.

“I guess it’s difficult for us in dirty air, you know, following each other. It’s easy to do mistakes like he did, but obviously, it cost me quite dearly today.

“Going from 10th, I think we were battling, to last and then having to come back to P11 and finishing behind him hurts because this time it’s not my mistake.

“It’s unfortunate, but yeah, let’s see what happens.”

As you'd expect the Williams man had a different view.

“Carlos came from wide and cut in,” he claimed. “I saw him, but nothing I could have done with the angle I was at. He was closing the gap.

“It’s one of those first-lap things.”

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The stewards didn't see it that way though and with the penalty, Sainz will now start ahead of Russell in P10, while the Briton drop to 12th.

That's because despite only having a 17-lap race, the Spaniard was able to recover back to within two places of where he started in P9.

“The pace was there. I had fun, honestly, coming back from P20 even though there were a lot of DRS trains,” he noted.

“I managed to make a few good moves and get myself back into a decent position but still, you know, it has cost me.

“I should have finished around P8, P7 and be in a good position for tomorrow and unfortunately this has cost me quite a lot.”