First retirement of the season after regaining five places in the opening lap
Sakhir, April 16th 2017.- A great start from Carlos Sainz promised a thrilling comeback for the driver of Scuderia Toro Rosso at the Bahrain Grand Prix, but a crash with another car forced him to retire for the first time this season. He was fighting for points at that time.
Carlos took the start from the sixteenth spot on the grid, but he was on a mission and delivered an epic performance when the lights went off. He overtook Fernando Alonso in the opening meters and then passed Marcus Ericsson and Lance Stroll in Turn 1. He left behind his teammate Daniil Kvyat in Turn 12 and then overtook Renault’s Jolyon Palmer in the last corner.
Carlos settled in eleventh place, showing a solid race pace. As he pitted in Lap 12, he changed his supersoft tyres for another set of the same compound. He exited the pits without any issues, but then found Williams’ Lance Stroll as they approached Turn 11. His rival closed his racing line, leaving no-space for the other car. Both cars touched. Carlos suffered damage in his front-left tyre and some mechanical components of his car, and so it was not possible to continue in the race.
As he jumped out of his STR12, Carlos reviewed the race. "It is a shame, because we were doing a very good race. We had started from P16, but after the first lap we were already P11. It was a very solid start of which I quite be quite proud off, but it is worthless if you don’t finish the race. I knew it was going to be very tight with Lance [Stroll] in the pit-exit. I tried to take the inside-line in the corner. He must have missed me, because he turned into me and we touched".
The Spaniard thinks Stroll should have left him the space coming into Turn 1. "You can take the corner, but when you have someone in the inside line you have to leave the space. I think he didn’t see me, I think he didn’t expect me to be there. I didn’t miss my braking point. Had he taken the outside line, he would have been ahead of me. But he took the risk".
The crashed was not caused by an error under braking. "I was always under control of the situation. I braked into the corner, but didn’t lock-up any wheel. I saw Lance very outside of the corner, then he started turning and he crashed into me. I had nearly a full-car length and then he was there next to me all of a sudden. I believe he didn’t see me. If he didn’t see me, I can understand why he didn’t leave the space. But this is Formula 1: there was a gap and I went for it. Had he seen me, I am sure he would have left the space. Anyway, it’s now time to leave what happened today behind and work together with the team to ensure that we enjoy a better race next time", Carlos concluded.
The next stop on the calendar is the Russian Grand Prix, which will be held in Sochi from April 28th to 30th. As always, we will follow it closely via www.carlosainz.es and our Twitter account @carlosainzinfo.