Carlos Sainz Jr. blames impatient Daniil Kvyat for collision
Carlos Sainz Jr. believes stewards were correct in blaming ex-team-mate Daniil Kvyat for the first-lap clash in China which compromised McLaren’s prospects.
Kvyat and the McLaren drivers battled for position through the exit of Turn 6 but contact was made between Kvyat and Sainz Jr., which tipped the Russian into Lando Norris.
All three drivers were able to continue in the race but Norris and Kvyat eventually retired while Sainz Jr. lost substantial time and came home a low-key 14th.
It marked his first finish in McLaren colours but Sainz Jr. expressed annoyance at the manner in which the situation unravelled.
“From my side it is Lap 1, obviously I understand his frustrations but anything can happen but it is Lap 1 and there is 55 laps to go,” he said.
“So if you don’t get the best of starts… look at your team-mate who has finished in the points starting from the pit lane.
“It is a long race and you don’t have to open the steering wheel on the exit of a corner when you know you have two McLarens side-by-side.
“I think he knew, he knew that we were there.
“A bit of a shame because of that as it is a long race here in Shanghai and you can overtake here so if you don’t get the best of starts you have to be patient and get back in the points.
“That is exactly what Lando and I were doing but we were in a melee. It is a shame.”
Stewards deemed that Kvyat was “wholly to blame” as he “lost control of his car on the exit of Turn 6 and hit the cars to his left”.
He was issued with a drive-through penalty, and two points on his license, but criticised the decision post-race and demanded a meeting with the stewards.