July 23, 2024

Both Max Verstappen and George Russell received in-race penalties at the Las Vegas Grand Prix, but their rule-breaking led to a second punishment on top of the time added on to their races

Max Verstappen and George Russell were both given extra punishments on top of their time penalties at the Las Vegas Grand Prix.

Both drivers received in-race punishments for their conduct on track during the night race in Sin City. And both incidents happened to involved Dutchman Verstappen who was at the centre of the action before going on to win for the 18th time in 2023. He was punished for the first thing he did after the lights went out. He got a slightly better launch than pole-sitter Charles Leclerc and they went into the first corner side-by-side.

However, Verstappen went off the track and wide on the inside, forcing the Ferrari to cross the white line as well. Red Bull did not feel that their driver needed to return the location, and the stewards took their time reviewing the incident. In the end, it was agreed that the triple world champion should receive a five-second time penalty.

And Russell later got the same penalty for bringing Verstappen into contact. After pitting and serving his penalty, the Red Bull racer was making his way back up the leaderboard when he encountered the British driver on the track.

He tried to pass inside the Mercedes, but it seemed that she didn’t even know he was there. The stewards believed Russell should have been penalized even though Verstappen’s performance was not significantly affected by the front wing damage.

Russell did not pit before the finish, so the five seconds were added to his time. Verstappen won the race after serving his penalty. When the checkered flag was raised, he was in fourth place on the road, but he fell to eighth after that.

Both drivers have received additional penalty points added to their race licenses in addition to those penalties. Verstappen only has two total now because his was clean, while Russell has four; both are still far below the threshold of 12 that would result in a one-race ban.

Both drivers acknowledged that their penalties were warranted. “I couldn’t slow down, but I didn’t mean to push Charles off the track,” Verstappen stated. I continued to slide wide on four wheels. We had to go wide for this reason. Due to adrenaline at the time, I was not pleased with the choice I had made. However, in retrospect, that was most likely the right decision.”

Russell went on to say, “I was entirely to blame for the incident with Max. He was completely in my blind spot as I turned around Turn 11. I didn’t see him. The overtake there caught me off guard because we have the big long straight with the DRS coming up. That was a fairly simple podium, and we were headed in the right direction. We therefore made it back to P4, but the five-second penalty sends us down to P8.”

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