Sainz given three-place grid penalty for Stroll incident

Bahrain Grand Prix – Carlos Sainz has been given a three-place grid penalty for his incident with Lance Stroll.

As the Spaniard exited the pit lane, he tried to pass Stroll into Turn 1 but made heavy contact with the Williams, ending both of their races.

“Car 18 was on the normal racing line, car 55 left the pit lane and made a very optimistic attempt to pass car 18 into the corner,” read the steward’s report.

“The Stewards decided that the driver of car 55 as predominately to blame for causing the collision.”

Sainz was also given two penalty points, putting him on seven for his 12-month total.

Both drivers pointed the finger at the other when summonded by the stewards after the race, with Stroll saying he hit the side of his car.

“I got completely destroyed in my sidepod. He drove right into me,” Stroll said.

“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. I just saw the video, it’s ridiculous.

Sainz argued that he was entitled to space at the corner:

“I knew it would be very tight at the end of the pits with Lance,” he said.

“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.

A similar incident occurred in the 2014 race, in which Pastor Maldonado in the Lotus flipped Esteban Gutierrez’s Sauber.

With a brake failure in Australia, and contact with Sergio Perez on the opening lap in China, Stroll is yet to finish a Grand Prix this season.

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Chris Stevens

Chris is a member of the Autosport Academy and has been writing about motorsport professionally since 2015. He has been one of the top Formula E journalists since he went to Donington Park for pre-season testing a week after picking up his A-Level results.

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