Max Verstappen and George Russell received penalty points on their super licences after serving time penalties at the Las Vegas Grand Prix.
Verstappen and Russell both received time penalties at the Las Vegas Grand Prix; however, their infringement of rules resulted in an extra penalty in along with the time added to their races.
The drivers’ actions on the track during the Las Vegas night race landed them in-race penalties. Additionally, Max Verstappen played a role in both incidents as he went on to win his 18th race this season.
The first penalty came just after the lights went out as he launched himself a little better than Charles Leclerc, who was in pole position and the two entered the first corner in tandem. However, Verstappen went off the track while going wide on the inside, forcing the Ferrari to go over the track boundary as well.
Red Bull did not feel that their driver needed to give back the position as the stewards took some time reviewing the incident. Ultimately, it was determined that the three-time world champion should receive a five-second time penalty.
George Russell later got the exact same penalty for making contact with Verstappen as the Red Bull driver was making progress towards the race leaders before he encountered the British driver after pitting and serving his time penalty.
Apparently oblivious to his presence, the Mercedes ran into the Dutchman as he attempted an inside overtake resulting into a collision. However, Verstappen’s pace was not significantly affected by the front wing damage, but the stewards believed Russell should have been penalized for it.
Verstappen emerged victorious after serving his penalty as Russell failed to pit before the finish, adding five seconds to his time. The Mercedes driver was in fourth place at the checkered flag, but as a result of the time penalty he fell to eighth.
Both drivers have now found themselves with additional penalty points added to their super licenses after serving the time penalties.
Verstappen now has two points after running on a clean sheet all season, while Russell has four. Both are still far below the threshold of 12 that would result in a one-race ban.
The drivers acknowledged that their penalties were appropriate.
“I didn’t mean to push Charles off the track, but I couldn’t slow down,” Verstappen said. “I kept sliding on four wheels, wide.
“So that’s why we had to go wide. At the time, also from adrenaline, I was not happy with the decision. But, looking back at it, that was probably the right call.”
George Russell explained: “The incident with Max was totally my fault. I didn’t see him, he was totally in my blind spot going around Turn 11.
“I wasn’t really expecting the overtake there because we’ve got the big long straight with the DRS afterward.
“We were on course for an easy podium then, it was pretty straightforward. So we recovered to P4, but then the five-second penalty knocks us down to P8.”