Russell fined for water bottle throw, but keeps win

Mercedes Formula 1 junior George Russell has kept his F2 feature race win at Barcelona, after being fined €3,000 for throwing a water bottle out of his car.

Russell fined for water bottle throw, but keeps win
George Russell, ART Grand Prix
George Russell, ART Grand Prix
George Russell, ART Grand Prix
George Russell, ART Grand Prix
George Russell, ART Grand Prix
Nyck De Vries, PREMA Racing
George Russell, ART Grand Prix

Russell jettisoned the bottle on under a virtual safety car after it came loose in his cockpit, having driven with it between his legs for three laps. 

“It moved slightly so when I was trying to turn there was nowhere for my arm to go to,” the ART Grand Prix driver explained to Motorsport.com.

“I managed to rip it off and I stored it between my legs for three laps, I planned to keep it there until the pitstop and throw it out at a safe time. 

“But when I saw the opportunity of the virtual safety car, I thought it was a good and safe opportunity to get rid of it, but consequently we’ve been given a €3,000 fine and a penalty point on my license.”

The bottle was only included after a late weight check before the race; Russell and his ART team erred on the side of caution by installing it.

“The reason it was there in the first place was I jumped on the scales beforehand [before the race] and I was lower than I expected, so we put the bottle in, so it was a last minute bodge job,” added Russell.

“It’s [the water bottle] mounted on the chassis. As it happened I came in and my weight was fine, we didn’t actually need it. 

“It’s not ideal, it was just something extra to think about and I was leading the race at the time.”

Russell, who went from eighth on the grid to fourth in Sunday's sprint race, won the feature race after surviving a late lunge from Nyck de Vries.

The McLaren F1 junior ran Russell – who had to take evasive action – off the road at Turn 1 while he was leading the feature race in Baku, and tried a late move on Russell again after a late VSC at Turn 5.

“It was [a scary moment],” Russell said of de Vries' overtaking effort. “I got a little bit unfortunate with the timing of the virtual safety car as it was on the straight, I believe he had DRS.

“I knew if he went for the move he wouldn’t make the corner so I left the door open and let him go.”

Russell now lies third in the points standings on 62 points, 18 behind leader Lando Norris. Alexander Albon is second on 67.

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