Sergey Sirotkin’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix ended in the run-off at turn three on the opening lap on Sunday, but the Russian still managed to find himself involved in two incidents in that time.
The Williams Martini Racing driver was involved in a turn two tussle that saw him hit the back of Sergio Pérez’s Sahara Force India F1 Team VJM11, but despite coming through that contact unscathed, he was less fortunate heading down the back straight after being squeezed by Nico Hülkenberg and Fernando Alonso, which caused his suspension to break.
“It was such a mess in the first few corners,” said Sirotkin. “I was between two cars heading into turn three and I was just slowly and progressively squeezed between the two cars, as I was in the middle.
“At a point I saw I was not going to avoid a crash so I just lifted, hoping they would squeeze me but not hit me that much, but then already there was nothing I could do. We touched, my car jumped and when I landed, I broke my front suspension and my wing.”
Sirotkin had been confident of a first top ten finish of his Formula 1 career after starting a seasons-best eleventh on the grid but saw his race unravel before it really began, with drivers making aggressive moves so early on.
“I am just really sorry for this, as it is such a long race, but I understand that we all want to gain positions at the start, which is important,” said Sirotkin. “It is a shame in a race in such conditions.
“Parking the car in turn three is not the best feeling. This was the best weekend so far for us and I am sure we could have squeezed some points out of it.”