F1 News

Russell close to lead in Hungary: 'A very unusual situation'

Russell close to lead in Hungary: 'A very unusual situation'

05-08-2021 08:33 Last update: 12:33


When Lewis Hamilton was the only driver on the starting grid for the restart of the Hungarian Grand Prix, it wasn't Esteban Ocon but instead George Russell who restarted the race from the pit lane on P2. That's because Williams' pit box is at the end of the pit lane and when Russell drove out of his pit box, he could do nothing but overtake the other drivers.

"For a while I thought I had the lead in the race to be honest. It was a strange situation on the restart, with everyone waiting behind each other in the pit lane," Russell explained to Autosport. Over the onboard radio, there was advice from Williams to not overtake anyone, but by the time the message came through, Russell was already driving into the first corner.

No penalty for Russell

Race director Michael Masi explained that it could have resulted in a penalty. "George realised it was a mistake and the team let it be known straight away that they had made a mistake and that they were going to come back behind Fernando. It was an initiative of the team". So Masi didn't see the need to pass it on to the stewards as well.

Russell can appreciate that decision. "I'm very grateful that the FIA showed a bit of common sense and just said we had to give the positions back. They could have given me a drivethrough". The FIA didn't and that allowed Williams to score double points, for the first time since 2018.

Video player

More videos