Race Weekend Central

George Russell, Valtteri Bottas, Sebastian Vettel to Receive Grid Penalties at US Grand Prix

George Russell and Valtteri Bottas will both join Sebastian Vettel in receiving grid penalties for this weekend’s United States Grand Prix, the Formula 1 teams announced on Oct. 22.

Bottas, who won the most recent grand prix in Turkey on Oct. 10 for his first victory of the 2021 season, will be hit with a five-place grid penalty for Sunday’s race in Austin, Texas. The penalty comes after the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team announced that Bottas would use his sixth Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) of the season for the race, thus crossing the allotted threshold for the year.

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Russell, who scored his first career podium in the rain-shortened Belgium Grand Prix on Aug. 29 and is set to replace Bottas at the Mercedes team for 2022, will join Vettel at the back of the grid for Sunday’s race. Heading into this weekend, Russell was at the maximum threshold for ICEs, MGU-H, turbochargers, and energy store and control electronics changes for the season. With the Williams team electing to give Russell a brand new engine for this weekend’s race, he will be forced to drop to the back of the grid.

In one career start at Circuit of the Americas in 2019, Russell finished 17th. Bottas won the same race, and he will enter as the defending winner after a one-year hiatus of United States Grand Prix in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Bottas will have the chance to defend his title, but it will be an uphill battle by the time the green lights flash on Sunday. Both drivers will look to finish out the season strong for their respective teams before moving on to different rides in 2022.

All penalties will be official after Saturday’s qualifying session.

The Aramco United States Grand Prix will take place on Sunday, Oct. 24 at 1:30 p.m. ET, with television coverage provided by ABC.

About the author

Stephen Stumpf is the NASCAR Content Director for Frontstretch, and his weekly columns include “Stat Sheet” and “4 Burning Questions.” Stephen also writes commentary, contributes weekly to the “Bringing the Heat” podcast and is frequently at the track for on-site coverage. A native of Texas, Stephen began following NASCAR at age 9 after attending his first race at Texas Motor Speedway.

Follow on Twitter @stephen_stumpf.

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