BREAKING: George Russell has been hit with a two-place grid penalty

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

George Russell has been handed a two place grid penalty for unnecessarily impeding cars exiting the pit lane at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix Qualifying.

Ahead of the Sao Paulo Grand Prix weekend, the FIA issued a directive barring drivers from stopping in the pit lane to create gaps before going out on their qualifying runs.

Well, after the Sao Paulo Grand Prix Qualifying, George Russell was summoned to the stewards for breaching this exact directive.

The stewards ultimately decided to hand George a two-place gid penalty. Since the Briton qualified for Sunday’s Sao Paulo GP in P6, he will be starting the race from P8.

“The Stewards heard from the driver of Car 63 (George Russell), the team representative and reviewed in-car video evidence,” the stewards’ report read.

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“In order to avoid situations like the ones that occurred in Mexico, the Race Director’s Event Notes for this event contained a specific clause (item 14) stipulating that it was permitted to go slow in the pit exit to create a gap before crossing the SC2 line, however, by doing so, a driver must stay as far to the left as possible to allow other drivers to pass on the right hand side.

“RUS was exiting the pits, preparing for an out lap. RUS went slow to create a gap for a clear lap, but did not manage to stay completely to the left. As a result, following car(s) were not able to overtake, as intended by the Race Director’s instructions.

“This clearly violates the wording and spirit of item 14 of the Race Directors’ Event Notes,” the report concluded.

Esteban Ocon was also penalised for the same infringement.

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