Max Verstappen and George Russell both received penalty points on their super licences alongside time penalties in the Las Vegas Grand Prix.
Verstappen was given a five-second penalty for forcing Charles Leclerc off the track in taking the lead at the start, while Russell was given the same punishment for causing a collision with Verstappen later on in the race.
Verstappen lost the lead of the race in serving his penalty at his first pit stop, while Russell dropped four places at the chequered flag while serving his – but they also have penalty points on their licence for the next year as a result.
Drivers are only allowed 11 penalty points on their super licences in a rolling one-year period, with reaching the 12-point barrier resulting in a one-race ban.
Verstappen and Russell were given two points apiece for their infringements in Las Vegas, getting Verstappen back off of zero again after having his licence wiped clean in Sao Paulo last time out, while Russell is up to four points.
Russell accepted responsibility for his collision with the three-time World Champion, while after initially sarcastically telling race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase to “send [the FIA] my regards”, Verstappen on reflection admitted his punishment was probably the correct one as well.
“I didn’t mean to push Charles off the track, but I couldn’t slow down. I kept sliding on four wheels, wide,” Verstappen said.
“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. After that, of course, with those five seconds, it was definitely a bit harder to come back to the front.”
Russell, meanwhile, admitted to Sky Sports F1: “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. Just this season is sort of one thing after another but then, ultimately, the pace wasn’t quite… it was strong, but not as strong as the Red Bull and the Ferraris.”