Toro Rosso driver Carlos Sainz was left somewhat bemused by the penalty he received from FIA stewards when he collided with Williams rookie Lance Stroll during the Bahrain Grand Prix, prompting the Spaniard to suggest that a more experienced driver would have avoided the collision.
The incident occurred when both Stroll and Sainz headed for the same piece of tarmac in Turn 1, after the Toro Rosso driver had made an early pit stop. Sainz clattered into the Williams as they entered the corner and thus it was race over for the pair.
Sainz said, “I was quite surprised with the grid drop. I thought they were going to consider it a racing incident. Obviously in F1 when you are fighting for position, for the points, there are a lot of racing battles going on.”
“It was, for me, a racing incident. Lance simply didn’t see me and maybe a guy with a bit more experience would have seen me and left me enough space on the corner.”
“You go home with the penalty, you get it, you cannot appeal, nothing. That’s how it is. Even for pride, they wouldn’t change their opinion. I don’t think it would change nothing. Even if you had the opportunity to appeal, it’s not like suddenly the stewards are going to decide the contrary.
“They take a decision, they go with it, they understand they wouldn’t change their decision because they would lose some credibility. They will never change. But there you have it. First incident, fighting for position, first penalty,” added Sainz.
Stroll, who has yet to finish a race in his three starts thus far in his rookie season, said of the incident, “He drove right into me. I was like 50-60 metres ahead of him in the braking zone and he just dive-bombed when I was turning already and he just completely drove into the side of me.
“I don’t know what else to say. I just saw the video, it’s ridiculous. I saw him coming out of the pit lane but he was miles behind and he just completely goes down the inside and I was already in the middle of the corner. He just hit me.”