George Russell was handed a five-second time penalty at the Italian Grand Prix after the British driver was involved in an incident with Esteban Ocon. The incident left Ted Kravitz baffled puzzled.
The Mercedes driver was attempting to beat Ocon on the run into the Variante del Rettifilo chicane when he and the Frenchman both locked up.
Russell went directly on at the chicane, scampering across and failing to give Ocon the place back, despite the fact that the Alpine driver was ahead heading into the corner.
As a result of the incident, Russell was handed a five-second time penalty, although given the pace demonstrated by the man from King’s Lynn, that was not a major punishment for the 25-year-old.
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Speaking about the incident during the Sky Sports F1 live broadcast, Kravitz said: “So one man who has just pitted, Crofty, is Esteban Ocon. That’s Esteban Ocon who has rejoined 19th.
“Esteban Ocon who is not in a race with George Russell, so talk about pointless penalties, why did Mercedes not tell Russell: ‘Look, let him past. He’s not in our race. Yes, you’ll lose a bit of time, but at least it will avoid a five-second penalty.’
“It’s a very frustrating penalty as far as Mercedes and Russell are concerned, fighting with somebody they weren’t even in a race with.”
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Russell’s impressive pace at the Italian Grand Prix comes off the back of some positive news. The Mercedes driver signed a new contract with the Silver Arrows in the build-up to the weekend, securing his place with the team for another two seasons.
Speaking about his new deal, Russell said: “We have made some significant steps over the last 18 months and are only getting stronger as a team. I’m excited to help continue to build on that momentum as we progress into 2024 and 2025 as we continue to focus on returning to the very front of the pack.”
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