Williams confirms cause of George Russell's retirement amid Robert Kubica probe

George Russell at the Russian Grand Prix

Williams has clarified the cause of George Russell’s retirement from the Russian Grand Prix, and explained why it opted to park Robert Kubica shortly afterwards.

Russell suffered a failure shortly after the Virtual Safety Car period at the Sochi Autodrom and was pitched into the wall.

Kubica was pulled into the Williams garage shortly afterwards.

Williams did not give a cause for Russell’s exit in the aftermath while it revealed that it called Kubica into the garage in order to save parts for the upcoming events.

On Thursday Kubica’s personal sponsor, PKN Orlen, requested clarification over why the Pole was retired, and suggested it could take action related to contractual obligations.

Williams did not react in the immediacy of the company’s statement but on Thursday evening moved to provide an explanation of Sunday’s race.

Dave Robson, Senior Race Engineer, explained that “we found an issue with the wheel nut retainer on George’s car, which led to the front-right wheel not sitting perfectly.

“This caused a lock-up under braking. The design is very mature and well-proven. The remaining inventory will be inspected thoroughly, and we do not anticipate a repeat of the issue.

“Unfortunately, we were forced to retire Robert’s car due to the amount of accident damage we sustained in the Singapore-Russia back-to-back races in order to protect ourselves going into the next events.

“The team has worked extremely hard to ensure race quantities have improved ahead of Japan and the final races.”