In Q1, Williams driver George Russell complained about the on-board radio that Ocon was bothering him. The Frenchman immediately knows what time it is: “That was not good Mark,” he tells his engineer Mark Slade. “Shall we get a penalty for that?” Asks the Frenchman, who is then told ‘Yep’. Ocon had just started his out-lap and was warned in time for Antonio Giovinazzi who was ahead, but realized too late that Russell was behind him on a fast lap.
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“In the exit of Turn 5, Giovinazzi was leading and doing his in-lap, while Ocon was behind him on an out-lap and Russell on a flying lap,” the stewards said in a statement. As Russell approached, the team did warn Ocon about Giovinazzi, but did not warn him about Russell until very late. As Russell approached the two cars, Ocon turned right to overtake Giovinazzi, hindering the clearly faster Russell. The team admitted that they did not help their driver, which led to the obstruction, ”the stewards conclude.
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The three-place grid penalty will make Sebastian Vettel, Carlos Sainz and Romain Grosjean a place on the grid. Ocon will start from fourteenth place, ahead of Russell. In addition, Ocon also gets a penalty point on his license, his first so far.