Ocon handed three-place penalty for impeding Russell in Q1 at Silverstone
“Properly dangerous”. That’s how George Russell described Esteban Ocon’s driving tactics in qualifying for the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, and the stewards have taken a similarly dim view, penalising the Renault driver three places on the grid for impeding his Williams rival.
Ocon was on an out-lap in Q1 and pulled out to overtake the slower Alfa Romeo of Antonio Giovinazzi who was an in-lap, but in doing so, he impeded Russell, who was on a flying lap. The Frenchman admitted afterwards that "it was no one on track’s fault, but it’s something we should have managed better."
The stewards reviewed the video evidence and spoke to both Ocon and Russell as well as team representatives from both teams and decided that Ocon was guilty of impeding Russell approaching Turn 6.
The team admitted that they did not assist their driver in this instance which led to the impeding
“While Russell approached, the team advised Ocon on the radio about Giovinazzi ahead, but didn’t advise about Russell until very late,” said the stewards.
“As Russell approached the two cars ahead, Ocon pulled to the right to overtake Giovinazzi and clearly impeded the much faster Russell. The team admitted that they did not assist their driver in this instance which led to the impeding.”
As a result of the penalty, Ocon drops to 14th on the grid, one place ahead of Russell, with Sebastian Vettel, Carlos Sainz and Romain Grosjean each gaining a place.