George Russell will lose three places on the grid for the first race of the Pau Grand Prix weekend after being penalised by the stewards for causing a collision with Maximilian Günther during Sunday’s final FIA European Formula 3 Championship race at the Hungaroring.
The Hitech GP driver collided with Prema Powerteam’s Günther at turn eleven on the fifth lap that saw both drivers eliminated while battling for the lead.
The two drivers had been taking different lines through the corner, with Günther taking a wider line compared to Russell due to the circuit being treacherous due to wet weather.
Günther ended up in the barriers, which brought out the safety car, while Russell crawled back to the pits to retire with suspension damage.
The two drivers had different opinions about the incident, with Günther feeling he was running the line he had been using every lap until the incident.
“It was quite simple,” said Günther. “We were P1 and P2, and I was on the same line like every lap.
“He was behind me but a little to the inside at a corner where in my opinion you cannot overtake in the rain. I left him room to overtake and he lost control – you could see in the video that he got oversteer.”
Russell felt Günther did not give him enough room as he attempted the overtake, feeling he had more pace than the Prema Powerteam driver.
“He needed to collect points and he saw I had a massive pace advantage over him,” said Russell. “He was on very different lines to me – every corner he was wide and I would carry more speed being tight.
“I knew if he did his normal line and I did my normal line I could pass him, and he made a mistake at Turn 9 [before the fast Turn 10] and I got a good exit.
“He made it tough for me; he didn’t give me anywhere near as much room as he should, we touched and that was it.”