George Russell was accused of ‘doing a Max Verstappen’ after escaping a penalty for stopping in the pit lane during qualifying for this weekend’s Qatar Grand Prix. The Brit ended up finishing in second after climbing up the order thanks to a post-race lap deletion for Lando Norris, who slipped to 10th after crossing the white line on his final Q3 attempt.
Plenty of eyebrows were raised at the start of Q3 when Russell’s car ground to a halt in the middle of the pit lane before he eventually got going again. It came just weeks after Verstappen stopped at the pit lane exit line during qualifying at the Singapore Grand Prix, an offence which resulted in an official reprimand for the Dutchman.
Many observers were quick to draw comparisions between the two incidents, with Sky Sports F1 commentator David Croft accusing Russell of ‘doing a Verstappen’ while running the rule over what happened. Others have suggested that Russell should be investigated by the FIA, while some fans on X have called for a penalty to be handed down to the Mercedes ace.
@MXS46874722 wrote: “A few weeks ago it was a complete mayhem because the stewards said Max should’ve had a penalty for stopping in the pit straight. George did exactly the same today.” @MichaelNUFC_ simply asked: “Why is Russell not being investigated for literally stopping in the pit lane?”
“Hope Russell gets a penalty for just stopping in the pit lane,” said @GeorgeK_VII, while @mkhulxifi added: “Russell cried about Max stopping in pit lane. Now he does it. If you don’t like it, don’t do it.”
@JoyJMurraya, meanwhile, pointed out: “George Russell pulling a Verstappen because he didn’t get a penalty when he did it in Singapore!”
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