July 23, 2024

Following the Japanese Grand Prix, George Russell was the subject of an investigation by the Formula One stewards into a late move on Oscar Piastri that caused the McLaren driver to go off course.

Despite pushing Oscar Piastri off course late in the Japanese Grand Prix, George Russell escaped punishment.

With a few laps remaining, the Briton attempted a daring overtake going into the final chicane. However, he ultimately didn’t leave much space for the McLaren, and Piastri had to take the lead to keep the race safe.

As a result, he maintained his lead, but Russell managed to pass him soon after and finish seventh overall. But the stewards looked into that maneuver to determine whether the Mercedes driver’s initial attempt had been overly forceful.

They determined that Russell did not need to be punished after reviewing the video and hearing both sides of the incident. The Briton received no more punishment, and his finishing position is assured.

The incident’s circumstances, according to the stewards, made reaching a decision “challenging.” After some time, they concluded that Russell had “left sufficient room” for Piastri, who had chosen to use the run-off area instead of going for the safer option, and that Piastri had not “dived in” to the corner.

“Both drivers and team representatives agreed this incident did not warrant the imposition of any penalty,” the report also stated.

Russell made the following statement following the race: “We made progress today, which was encouraging. In order to give us flexibility to try either a one-stop or a two-stop, the plan was to start on the hard tire after the red flag.

“Having this freedom was nice, but in the end, the one stop wasn’t working, so we switched to a two-stop approach. We had a difficult start, but following that initial stop, our pace appeared to be on par with those in front of us.

“Towards the finish, the race was thrilling. It was a good, tough race, and it’s always nice to be attacking rather than defending. I was happy to land the job in the end, even though there was some communication with Oscar regarding the racing incident.

“The four teams trailing Red Bull are closely matched, so qualifying will be crucial in every race. The person who gets off to a head start will probably end up leading that group. We are aware that we still have work to do, but we won’t give up. Maybe a track similar to the one in China will work better for us.”

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