Sainz handed Azerbaijan grid penalty after first lap Canada crash

by Paul Hensby

Carlos Sainz Jr has been handed a three-place grid penalty and two penalty points on his Superlicence after being deemed responsible for the first lap clash with Romain Grosjean during Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix.

Sainz appeared to push Grosjean onto the grass on the way to turn three, with the Haas F1 Team racer then clipping the Spaniard into a spin, with the out-of-control Sainz then collecting the innocent Felipe Massa ahead of them.

The crash also meant the safety car was needed, with both the Scuderia Toro Rosso and Williams Martini Racing drivers out on the spot, while Grosjean got away with just a broken front wing, with the stewards at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve feeling what Sainz did verged on being dangerous and warranted a penalty, which he will have to serve next time out in Azerbaijan.

“The driver of Car 55 claimed he checked his mirrors but that Car 8 was in his blind spot and therefore he did not see it,” said the Stewards in Montreal.

“Notwithstanding this, and our conclusion that the collision was not caused by a deliberate act on the part of the driver of Car 55, we find that his assumption (as he stated) that there was no car alongside him and therefore he could move to that track position, was careless and potentially dangerous.

“This was evidenced by the further collision of Car 8 with Car 19, a direct result of this incident, which caused the retirement of Car 19.”

The two penalty points takes his tally to seven in the past twelve months, with any driver who acquires twelve handed an automatic one race ban.

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