Sergey Sirotkin: Nothing I could do to avoid first-lap Azerbaijan GP 'mess'
Williams driver Sergey Sirotkin says there was “nothing” he could have done to avoid the first lap “mess” that resulted in his retirement from the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
Sirotkin qualified in 12th position and moved up one place on the grid as a result of Nico Hulkenberg’s gearbox penalty, as Williams displayed stronger pace around the streets of Baku.
Sirotkin ran into the rear of Sergio Perez under braking for Turn 2 – for which stewards handed him a three-place grid penalty for the Spanish Grand Prix – but sustained terminal damage exiting the corner.
Sirotkin was squeezed between Hulkenberg’s Renault and the McLaren of Fernando Alonso, and the resultant contact left his Williams FW41 with front-left suspension damage.
“It was such a mess in the first few corners,” said Sirotkin.
“I was between two cars heading into Turn 3 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’s retirement, allied to results elsewhere, left the Russian as one of only two drivers yet to score a point in 2018.
“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,” he said.
“It is a shame in a race in such conditions. Parking the car in Turn 3 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.”