In the round-up: Max Verstappen’s penalty for colliding with Lewis Hamilton won’t compromise him too greatly at the next race, says Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.

In brief

Verstappen penalty softer in Sochi

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has played down the likely impact of the three-place grid penalty Verstappen was given as the long run to the first braking zone at Sochi makes it easier for drivers to gain places.

“We have the grid penalty to take for Max,” Horner told Red Bull’s website, “but in Sochi it’s not such a handicap because of the strength of the tow down to turn [two].”

Horner also revealed the team’s slow pit stop which dropped Verstappen behind Hamilton was linked to a recent update to the rules introduced by the FIA.

“There was a rare human error in our pit stop, as a result of the new technical directive but nonetheless something we need to learn from,” said Horner.

Latifi “getting much closer” to Russell

Nicholas Latifi says he’s closed the gap to his Mercedes-bound team mate George Russell over their second season as team mates at Williams.

Last week Latifi started the grand prix ahead of Russell, having gained a place from his team mate in the sprint qualifying race, but dropped behind him during the race. Russell came home ninth, two places ahead of his team mate.

Latifi described the latest round was “much more of a like-for-like in terms of being on-track, sharing the same space on-track for a lot of the race.”

“I know I’m getting much closer, I know in certain instances I could be ahead of [him]. It’s just really putting it all together.

“Especially in the races, when you’re ahead and you stay ahead up until the first stint then everything naturally becomes much easier for you because you get your priority with the pit stop, you don’t suffer as much battling behind.

“So it all obviously stems from qualifying in the end. I was able to get ahead of George in the sprint quali and that makes it easier. But I think the improvements are coming.”

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On this day in motorsport

  • 50 years ago today Jackie Stewart won a rain-shortened Canadian Grand Prix at Mosport after a scrap with Ronnie Peterson, which ended when the March driver collided with a backmarker. Behind them Mark Donohue impressed with third on his debut.

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