George Russell got the first trophy for Mercedes-AMG Petronas this season. He finished the one-stop race in the fourth spot, but got the trophy after Aston Martin requested a Right of Review on Sunday night.
It was an evening of chaos in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Fernando Alonso finished third, behind the winner of the race, Sergio Perez, and Max Verstappen. But a 10-second penalty forced him to hand over his trophy to George Russell from Mercedes-AMG Petronas.
Aston Martin eventually requested a Right of Review on Sunday night. Alonso had led the race from the start but had to serve a 5-second penalty due to lining up outside the grid slot. Furthermore, the Spaniard received a 10-second penalty for not serving the first penalty correctly. Stewards claimed that a rear jack touched the car during the penalty. He thus dropped out of the podium places, sending the trophy in the arms of the Mercedes driver. But he was reinstated following the review and George Russell had to give him the trophy back. It was the 100th podium for the F1 veteran in Saudi Arabia.
Russell had started from P3 on medium tires with his teammate far behind, in P7 with his car on hard rubber. They went for different strategies in a damage-limitation race.
They both stopped to switch tires on Lap 17. George came back to the racetrack on hard, while Lewis chose medium. But there was no way they could keep up with the Red Bull drivers, who had a 1-2 finish. The Dutch though slammed his team, angry due to the reliability issues he encountered: “I’m not here to finish second,” the Dutch said.
The drivers are now heading to Australia for the third round of the season. Max Verstappen leads the overall ranking, while Sergio Perez is a close single-point behind.