Sainz: First of all, apologies to the entire team

The 2020 Russian Grand Prix is one that Carlos Sainz will want to forget after making a rookie mistake, crashing out of the race in Turn 2 and nearly eliminating his McLaren teammate Lando Norris in the process.

The rot began when the Carlos barreled into the first right-hander with a gaggle of other cars, he opted to go over the sausage kerbs, through the styrofoam bollards at speed and as a result clipped the wall with the front left of the McLaren, breaking its suspension and ending his race on the spot.

He nearly speared into Lando Norris, forcing the Briton to take avoiding action. He was lucky to escape with only a puncture due to the contact between the two orange cars. He finished 15th.

In contrast, it was an early shower for Carlos after an unusual bout of brain-fade for the Spaniard who has grown in stature this year, ahead of his Ferrari adventure next year.

And he knew it when he reported after the race, “First of all, apologies to the entire team. It was tricky to get a good start on the dirty side and by Turn 2 we were surrounded by other cars. I went too deep and left the track, so I decided to run over the sausage kerb and go around the bollards to avoid the penalty.

“It was a quick decision, the angle was very tight and I simply misjudged my speed. It was a pretty heavy impact but I’m fine, just disappointed for the team. Watching the replay of the start, other cars also left the track at Turn Two but kept going and didn’t get the penalty.

“I might as well have done the same. But anyway, it is what it is. We will reset and go again in Germany,” added Sainz. It was his second DNF due to a crash in a row; at Mugello, he got caught up in the restart pile-up which trashed his car.

After the Sochi shenanigans, team principal Andreas Seidl did not mince his words, “It’s a very disappointing Sunday afternoon for us, coming away from Russia with zero points. Our race was pretty much over after two corners, with Carlos running into the barriers and then Lando having to take avoiding action, finishing up at the back of the field.

“The team – here at the track and back home – put in a lot of hard work, so it’s a tough one to take, especially with the great atmosphere in Sochi with fans finally back in the grandstands. We have to go away and reset, further understand the weaknesses of the car, work on updates and come back stronger two weeks from now at the Nürburgring,” added the McLaren team boss.