Ferrari driver Williams and Sainz met at Turn 6 in the first lap of the Sprint when Russell locked himself in and entered the Spaniard, who was on the outside. The brief contact put Sainz in the grass, but he was able to rejoin and continue, albeit well down the line.
READ MORE: “Nothing more could have been done,” says Russell, after first contact with Sainz in F1 Sprint
The stewards’ decision read: “Cars 63 [Russell] and 55 [Sainz] approaching turn 6 with car 63 on the inside, in the middle of the track, and car 55 on the outside. Car 63 briefly applied the front brakes, then understeered to the edge of the track as it exited the turn and contacted car 55, which was forced off the circuit and onto the grass. Car 63 is found to be at fault for the incident. “
The stewards added that Russell was given a grid penalty, not time, due to the nature of the Sprint format.
Russell’s penalty means he will provisionally start 12th in the British Grand Prix, while Sainz was do not received a penalty after also being called out by the stewards for potentially joining the track in a dangerous manner, following the clash with Russell.
The commissioners said: “The driver of car 55 described the steps he took to reduce the speed of the car in order to reach safely and mitigate what was a potentially dangerous situation. The marshals reviewed the video and telemetry data and found no conclusive evidence that the driver of car 55 did not take sufficient action to avoid the situation. “
Sainz received a warning from the stewards for not having followed the instructions of the clerk of the course on the start of practice in FP2, as did Nikita Mazepin (19th) and Sebastian Vettel (eighth).