The Williams driver finished ninth ahead of Esteban Ocon in Saturday afternoon’s 17-lap sprint race, which was used to set the grid for Sunday’s British GP.

But Russell was involved in a first-lap clash with Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz as the pair came together at Brooklands. The incident cost Russell a place to Sebastian Vettel, while Sainz dropped as low as P18 before recovering to 11th.

Following an investigation into the collision, the stewards deemed Russell to be at fault and subsequently handed him a three-place grid drop. The 23-year-old Briton will now start his home race from 12th.

“Cars 63 and 55 approached turn 6 with Car 63 on the inside, in the middle of the track, and Car 55 on the outside,” the stewards noted.

“Car 63 locked the front brakes briefly and then understeered towards the edge of the track at the exit of the turn and contacted Car 55, which was forced off the circuit and onto the grass. Car 63 is judged at fault for the incident.”

The stewards said they felt a grid drop was a “more appropriate” punishment than the usual time penalties due to the shorter duration of the race.

Speaking after F1's inaugural sprint race, Sainz blamed Russell for what he described as a “pretty obvious mistake” from the Williams driver.

But Russell countered, insisting there was little he could have done to avoid making contact with Sainz.

“Carlos came from quite wide and sort of cut in on me,” he explained. “I saw him, but there was nothing really more I could have done with the angle I was at.

“I was trying to steer more, I was on the brakes but you could see I'd just started to lock up as he was closing the door, so there was nothing more I could have done.

“So I think it's one of those things; when you're coming from the outside, you can't really see what's on the inside, so I guess for him, he just didn't know where I was. Just one of those first lap things really.”