MANAMA: Carlos Sainz was handed a three-place grid penalty for the Russian Grand Prix after being blamed for the collision that took him and Lance Stroll out of the Bahrain race on Sunday.
The Spaniard, of Toro Rosso, and the Canadian rookie, driving a Williams, crashed on lap 12 as Sainz rejoined following a pit stop.
Sainz appeared to drive into Stroll on the inside of the first corner in an incident that resulted in a stewards’ investigation which eventually led to a sanction against the Spaniard for the race in Sochi in two weeks’ time.
Stroll said Sainz had “dive bombed” into him.
“I just saw the video and it’s ridiculous,” he said.
Sainz said Stroll should have seen him coming and left space for his move.
“I knew it would be very tight at the end of the pits,” said Sainz. “I tried to take the corner around the inside. I didn’t lock up the tyres and he must have not seen me and turned it straight into me and we crashed.
“You are allowed to turn in, but when you have someone inside, you have to leave at least one car’s margin in case there’s someone there.
“I think he simply didn’t see me and he wasn’t expecting me to be there, but I didn’t overshoot the corner so I don’t understand how, knowing that you are fighting for position, you don’t leave a gap.”
Stroll hit back, saying: “He drove right into me… I was like 50-60 metres ahead of him, in the braking zone, and he just dive-bombed as I was turning.
“He just completely drove into the side of me.”