Bahrain GP: Carlos Sainz has Russia grid drop after Lance Stroll crash
Toro Rosso driver given three-place grid penalty for next race
By James Galloway in Bahrain
Last Updated: 16/04/17 8:31pm
Carlos Sainz has been handed a three-place grid penalty for the Russian GP after being found at fault for crashing with Williams' Lance Stroll in Bahrain.
The two cars came together at Turn One as Sainz rejoined the track after making a pit stop. Both the Toro Rosso and Williams retired as a result, with Stroll's car sustaining significant damage to its right sidepod.
After reviewing video evidence and speaking to both drivers after the race, stewards ruled Sainz had made a "very optimistic attempt to pass" and that he was "predominantly to blame for causing the collision" with Stroll.
Sainz will now start three places lower than where he qualifies the next race in Russia on April 30, with two penalty points also added to his racing licence.
The Toro Rosso driver now has seven for the last 12-month period, the joint-second most in the field after team-mate Daniil Kvyat. Drivers receive a race ban if they accrue 12 points over a rolling year period.
Stroll, who has yet to score points in his first three races of F1, said he could not understand what Sainz was trying to do as he left the pits.
"I saw Sainz coming out of the pitlane, I was 50 or 60 metres in front of him in the braking zone, and was already turning in and he drove into my side," he said. "There is not much else to say, as I have just seen the video and it was ridiculous."
And, after the end of a forgettable weekend in which an engine failure had knocked him out of Q1 in qualifying, Sainz said: "We've had reliability problems on Friday and yesterday, which meant that we had to do a race starting from the back. It started well, and recovered from P16 to P11 during the first lap - we were definitely catching the points positions there!
"Unfortunately, all of a sudden after the pit-stop I was involved in an incident with Lance and that was the end of my race. The weekend ends with a DNF, but weekends like this one always happen at some point throughout the year in F1. This is racing!"
Don't miss the F1 Report: Bahrain GP Review on Sky Sports F1 at 8.30pm on Wednesday for the final word on the weekend's action.