A mistake at the first corner ended any chance of Esteban Gutierrez having a strong race at the Sochi Autodrom after missing his braking point and running into the back of Nico Hulkenberg, resulting in a drive-through penalty for avoidable contact.
Starting from sixteenth on the grid, the Haas F1 Team driver was forced into the pits at the end of the first lap with damage to the front of his car after hitting the back of Hulkenberg’s Sahara Force India, with the stewards deeming his actions enough to take the penalty, meaning he was always playing catch up.
“It was a tough race from the beginning,” said Gutierrez after finishing a lapped seventeenth on Sunday. “It was definitely not a nice start.
“I arrived at the first corner with a lot of space in front and I braked but, unfortunately, I couldn’t stop the car and I ran into Nico (Hulkenberg). It’s a shame not only for me but for him, as well. I tried to do my best to recover the race but, obviously, we got the penalty and lost a lot of track time.
“However, I pushed until the end and we managed to finish the race, which was a good thing. We now need to focus on the next race in Barcelona.”