Lance Stroll, Williams, Bahrain International Circuit, 2017

Sainz given grid drop for Stroll crash

2017 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Carlos Sainz Jnr has been penalised three places on the grid for the next race for his collision with Lance Stroll.

Lance Stroll, Williams, Bahrain International Circuit, 2017
2017 BahrainGP in pictures
The Toro Rosso driver was held responsible for the crash which put both drivers out of the race.

According to the stewards, video evidence “showed that 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. The Stewards decided that the driver of car 55 was predominately to blame for causing the collision in violation of Article 27.4 of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations.”

Sainz has also been given two penalty points on his licence, meaning he now has a total of seven. Any driver who collects twelve points within a 12-month period earns a one-race ban. His team mate Daniil Kvyat is the only other driver to have reached a total of seven.

Stroll said his rival’s driving was “ridiculous”.

“I saw Sainz coming out of the pit lane, I was 50 or 60 metres in front of him in the braking zone, and was already turning in and he drove into my side. There is not much else to say, as I have just seen the video and it was ridiculous.”

“I think the race wasn’t going badly. I had a bad start and lost a couple of positions, but boxed early and had a really good beginning to the stint on the soft tyres. I am just disappointed and hope my luck turns round sometime soon.”

This article will be updated.

2017 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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73 comments on “Sainz given grid drop for Stroll crash”

  1. There was essence of Maldonado on that Move

    1. It’s called ‘Eau de Pastor’

      1. Lololol that really made me laugh out loud!

      2. Take a bow. Where can we buy that?

  2. Good. Only Sainz and Maldonado see it otherwise.

    1. Sainz jr Maldonado and Grosjean.

  3. Don’t think stroll had any idea he was there though..

    1. Exactly. If he knew Saintz was going for that huge dive, why did he not try to avoid him? Yes it was Saintz’ fault, but again, with more awareness Stroll could have avoided being completely taken out. If he had braked a bit earlier and let Saintz run wide in front of him, he could have then cut back inside of him and back in front.

      It’s pretty clear to me that Stroll didn’t see him.

      1. If Stroll braked a bit earlier or drove like he was afraid of being hit by someone who liked straight lines every time he saw a car on the Pit Lane Exit then Stroll’s critics would say he shouldn’t be in F1.
        Stroll was on the racing line, braked where he was supposed to, and was in front of Sainz, ergo Sainz was at fault.

      2. Arnoud van Houwelingen
        16th April 2017, 21:37

        Stroll was taking the racing line and was a meter in front in the breaking zone. It was just a stupid move by Sainz

    2. @maxv, Sainz was coming from quite some way behind Stroll though, so I’m not surprised that he wasn’t expecting Sainz to pile into the side of him. I think that the stewards were quite accurate with their description of Sainz’s move as being “very optimistic”…

      1. Tracks are too wide nowadays. They should narrow them back to 10-12 m.

        1. @regs I agree with that. And it makes it worse when the gap between the track and the barrier is another 20 metres.

          I think 10 metres isn’t enough to handle a modern F1 car, and at 10 metres (Monza) you would definitely notice the extra width, but 12 metres (Spa) to 14 metres (Hungary) its a good width. The cars are drowning in track and it’s possible that some drivers come under the illusion that because it’s so wide other drivers can afford to lose time leaving gaps for stupid dives

          1. All classic tracks are 10-12 m. Hungaroring is 10-11 m wide. 14 m is only a new portion which is too wide either and have same problem as Bahrain Circuit.

            Modern F1 cars have same width as cars prior to 1998, yet much easier to control. So it’s more than enough.

      2. +1, anon.

        If anything I think 3 places is far far too lenient, considering he obliterated another car. I’d have given 5 or maybe 10. I wouldn’t even credit it as optimism, it was plain bad driving.

        1. As a big Sainz fan I agree. Big mistake by him.

    3. ^This, I get why Sainz get’s the penalty, but Stroll seems to have his hands full on just driving around. He seems oblivious to whatever happens arround him.

      1. Stroll was completely aware of Sainz coming out of the pit lane and couldn’t possibly have expected such a bonehead move. Good decision on F1’s part. Stroll owned that corner at that instant and Sainz was definitely on brain fade mode.

        1. IMO a good driver should always be ready for the unexpected. Stroll didn’t have to let Saintz ruin his race.

          1. @the-last-pope Even a good driver doesn’t have eyes in the back of his head. A good driver doesn’t blatantly T-bone another. Hence the penalty.

          2. @robbie That’s why cars have mirrors. I’m not saying Saintz wasn’t a fault, of course he is. But a better, more experienced and aware driver wouldn’t have let someone else’s mistake ruin their race like that.

          3. @the-last-pope, surely a driver cannot always be ready for an unexpected event given that, by definition, he will not know what he is supposed to be anticipating. Otherwise, I expect that every single driver on the grid will fail your definition of driving competence given that, at least once in their careers (either in F1 or in junior series), they will almost certainly have had some sort of accident due to an unexpected event.

          4. Sorry about the misspellings of Sainz. Auto correct keeps changing it to Saints and I was only changing the s to z by mistake.

    4. Maybe a more experienced driver would avoid the crash. I think it’s a bit similar to China, when Stroll also doens’t saw the car that was coming behind (I think it was a Force India). Not his fault at all, but it’s better to lose the position and have a chance of a comeback than end the race right there.

      1. That I agree with very much, but that comes with, as you say, experience. I recall Vettel missed the collision with Perez and Massa in Canada a few years ago.

        But it’s unreasonable to expect somebody in his 3rd race (if you can even count the other two) to be ready for that, and even more so unreasonable for somebody to blame him for it

      2. Maybe a more experienced driver wouldn’t have avoided being hit by Sainz as well, what then? Would people be saying it was the experienced driver’s fault for not having seen Sainz gaining on him from 60 metres behind while in a blind spot and that he should have adjusted his driving style for the unlikely event Sainz had left his braking to late for the corner?
        Sainz is a professional F1 driver with 43 starts to his credit, he knows where to brake for that corner. I don’t know why he didn’t on this occasion, but I am sure Dr Marko will be expecting some very good excuses.

        1. @drycrust, I agree – if Sainz had come out of the pits and hit somebody like, say, Hulkenberg, how many posters here would be saying that Hulkenberg should have gone wider into that corner or that he should have “expected the unexpected” with Sainz?

          If this incident had involved a more experienced driver, I am willing to bet that there would be almost universal condemnation of Sainz’s driving, and I highly doubt that we would see Hulkenberg’s driving being simultaneously questioned in that way.

      3. Same collision on same corner last year when Bottas hit Hamilton. Even a 3 time champion cannot stop it. Nothing Stroll could do.

  4. When I first saw it was a Torro Rosso I assumed it would be Kvyat, perhaps I am giving Sainz too much credit with how he’s been driving lately…

    I wonder what drivers the Red Bull academy has waiting in the wings.

    1. I noticed the FOM feed incorrectly displayed Kyvat for a few seconds as well!

      1. @ju88sy I noticed that too. I was very confused by the yellow T-cam though, so I realised FOM had made a mistake

  5. I did wonder if Stroll wasn’t using his mirrors again but Sainz’s onboard gave it all away. Carlos was way, way, way too far back to make the move work and just t-boned into the side of the Williams. Very similar collision to Maldonado and Gutierrez in 2014 except no barrel roll.

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      16th April 2017, 19:20

      @brickles
      It is also similar to what happened with Bottas and Hamilton last year. Only it was only light contact between them compared to this. But Bottas got a drive through penalty as well as 2 penalty points.What Sainze did was much more clumsy and certainly should be given a more harsh penalty. As he paid for it by retireing, that is already a penalty. But a grid drop and some penalty points would probably be fair too.

      I feel really sorry for Stroll. He still hasn’t had the chance to prove himself in the race. He had issues in Austrailia, Perez knocked him out in China and now Sainz does the same. He needs a few clean races to get used to the sport and then we can start judging him. So if he completes the next few races, we can then start deciding how good he is. It is too soon to decide now.

      1. @thegianthogweed – Yeah Stroll was definitely blameless in that collision.

      2. Stroll knocked himself out in China with his lack of awareness. Perez did nothing wrong in that accident.

      3. @thegianthogweed I agree 3 places is far too lenient. 5 or 10 would have been better.

        The slight difference I thought with Bottas was that it was the start of the race and therefore Hamilton turned a lot tighter than he had probably anticipated, and I personally would have left it as a general start incident, as I’m sure the stewards would have if it were further back down the field.

        But Sainz’s was plainly terrible. He just came from a mile back, very poor

  6. It’s always a problem when the pit lane exits to the inside of a corner. This sort of situation should be covered in the driver briefing to prevent misunderstandings.

    1. Agreed, though I put it down to poor track design rather than using driver briefings to solve the problem. I really don’t like pit lane exits that merge in with the apex of the 1st corner, especially at a track like Bahrain where there is plenty of room to have it merge after the 3rd corner, on the straight and off the racing line – take a look at Brazil as the right way to do a pit exit, or for something over-engineered but still does the same thing, Abu Dhabi.

      1. @skydiverian there’s even an alternative track which turns right before turn 1 and rejoins at turn 2. They should send the pit lane down there, perhaps draw a line down the middle and use the right, then have it feed back onto the outside of turn 2. It will still meet the apex of 3, but at least they won’t be braking with cold tyres, and it’s not sharp, as well as being visible.

      2. Oh, I agree. They need to change the pit exit. 3 crashes in the last +/- 5 years means it’s in the wrong place, IMHO.

  7. Michael Brown (@)
    16th April 2017, 19:22

    4/10 no barrel roll

    1. @mbr-9 C’mon only 4/10, stroll’s car spewed water and steam like an exploding white porcelain kettle.

  8. Justin (@boombazookajd)
    16th April 2017, 19:27

    I think this highlights the issue with where the pit exit is. Instead of coming out at the corner, perhaps the exit should be after turn 2 or even after turn 3 and lead out onto the the short straight prior to 4.

    That said, Sainz fully at fault here. No sense in sticking his nose there. Tires weren’t ready for an attack, car in a bad position, not to mention it was fully Stroll’s corner.

    1. Michael Brown (@)
      16th April 2017, 22:51

      Perhaps a pit exit similar to Brazil or Spa could be implemented.

  9. Stroll needs to learn if people are coming out of the pit lane you shoul be prepared to give them space as they will invariably be on a sharper trajectory, this was his fault in my opinion and the stewards have got this wrong.

    Has daddy got friends in race control as well ??

    1. StephenH I think you have it completely wrong and the experts have it completely right.

    2. Wow…what videos were you watching? So you’re saying it was Gutierrez fault in 2014 when Pastor flipped him? Or is it just Strolls fault because his daddy is rich and you don’t think he belongs in F1?

    3. If a car has a sharper trajectory like Sainz did, then he has no business attempting a pass. It is a terrible angle to an already sharp apex. and will only lead to a collision.

  10. 100% fair penalty. sainz should have seen this was always going to happen.

  11. Just when I was thinking Stroll had put his crashes behind him, and out of nowhere!!!!!.
    Wehrlein missed the first 2 races but has done times as many race laps. Hard to rate him really. Perhaps at Palmer’s level.

  12. Sainz was fully at fault (and fully deserved the penalty received), but, Stroll should have been aware and ready to react (he may be an F1 rookie, but, should have the race awareness). He may not have fully avoided a collision, but, could possibly have avoided a race ending situation.

    1. In fairness he saw him exiting the pits but Strolls mirrors would not have been able to see Carlos as he turned in

    2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      16th April 2017, 22:03

      @maddme
      I’m not sure I agree. Does this mean Rosberg and Hamilton should have seen Bottas coming at this very corner last year on the 1st lap? If you think Stroll should have had more awareness, then surely more experienced drivers like Hamilton and Rosberg sound have also been more aware and seen Bottas Approaching the inside at speed. Bottas came in nowhere near as fast as Sainz though.
      I think they both deserved penalties for what they did although I think what Bottas got last year was overly harsh.

  13. Yes. Sainz arrived too fast at the apex. But what the heck with Stroll. If he did see him as he claims. He should have done better to calcuate that he arrives from the inside at almost the same time. So just go deep. In that corner you can take it deep and not lose so much. Even Sim drivers with a flat monitor have more awareness than him.

    1. No “kaiser”! Sainz move would have been hard to excuse even in an European F3 debutant, completely brainless, and no F1 driver can or should be required or expected to consider such idiotic behavior, not even Sainz’ most fervent fans and to their credit some of them seem to realise this.

  14. I wonder whether Sainz would have even made the corner. If at all, probably only with an extremely awkward line. It was really a dumb move.

  15. His team mate Daniil Kvyat is the only other driver to have reached a total of seven.

    I believe Kvyat has 8, and Palmer also has 7 (as does Gutierrez, who is no longer racing in F1).

  16. And in other news, what was in that large duffle bag the FIA Stewards carried out of the Bahrain race officials office, quickly tossing said duffle bag into the boot/trunk of their rental car? Laurence Stroll was seen carrying that same duffle bag thirty minutes earlier. It’s a mystery I tell ya.

  17. Sainz was at fault, yes, but this is the second time in as many races Stroll has been involved in an avoidable incident–the other being the collision with Perez.

    If you can see the fist held out in the distance, why run into it? Better awareness from Stroll in both instances would have resulted in no contact being made. Take Alonso’s foresight heading into the same corner later in the race whilst the Renault and Sauber were battling behind him, for example. He ran wide, just in case the drivers behind him out-braked one-another and ran deep. Eventually, even if others are considered to be at fault, it becomes Stroll’s problem. One could argue it already has.

    1. I noticed that too. I guess Alonso is forced to race looking in his mirrors with that slow Honda, hence the experience.
      I think stroll took the corner like he had all the time in the world. And Sainz would have made the corner, he had just exited the pits and had not reached top speed.
      The nature of that corner deceived both drivers into believing the onw will see the other and make room.

  18. Stroll definitively seems to have some trouble noticing what is happening next to him on the track…

    1. No problem at all. He noticed that the corner was his, and a ridiculous Sainz thought he’d get himself a three spot grid drop for doing something completely wrong that would have taken out any driver in Stroll’s position.

      Sainz was penalized for a blatantly bad move and his penalty was a no-brainer. Anyone claiming any wrongdoing by Stroll in any way, including how he somehow should have avoided this incident, simply must have something against Stroll.

    2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      17th April 2017, 9:02

      @rinodina

      What was Hamilton’s and Rosberg’s excuse for not seeing Bottas on the inside of this corner last year then? I think that was Bottas’s fault. And this incident was easily 100% Sainz’s fault. If it isn’t and you think Stroll should have been more aware, then Hamilton and Rosberg should have allowed Bottas more space last year. Bottas was quite a bit closer and didn’t lunge into the corner with the same sort of speed that Sainz did.

      1. I agree about it being Sainz’ fault. I just wonder why it is Stroll again, getting involved in this kind of crash. I don’t believe it’s entirely coincidental.

        1. @rinodina If you agree it was Sainz’ fault, and it was obvious for all to see as well as penalty-worthy, then there is no coincidence involved. Each race stands on it’s own and in this one Stroll was an innocent bystander.

          1. Well, if I get hit by a car on a zebra crossing, it is obviously always the driver’s fault. But there is a difference between taking my priority for granted and crossing the street blindly and taking care of the situation and waiting for cars to stop before crossing.

            I’m not claiming Stroll didn’t take care in this case but I believe it’s a possibility.
            Let’s see how he fares the rest of the season.

        2. I agree, he has to choose between being right and having “his corners” or realize others might do bad decisions but they don’t have to affect him if he gives them room -and eventually finish his first race.

  19. Well ,one certainly should not blame Lance just because he is the luckiest kid alive ( or close to it ) and as far as delegating fault it was Sainz who is to be blamed if blame is to be assigned but, the fact of the matter is that good drivers always expect the unexpected and if you are not a better than good driver you should not be behind the wheel of an F1 car so..with two F1 drivers behind their respective wheels the Sainz – Stroll accident should NOT have happened.
    There is having F1 talent and there is being F1 ready .
    The question one should ask is , ” what has happened to F1 ?” Was Sainz’ to blame ? Yes . Should Stroll have avoided Sainz even though Sainz was in the wrong ? Yes .
    I guess the point is that neither of them drove up to F1 standards. They are supposed to be at the top of their field and those at the top don’t make mistakes like what we saw both of them make ( though Sainz’ mistake was worse.
    Add to that situation the fact that a great driver is skipping Monaco and we all say that we understand .What is going on with F1 ?
    Drivers in a F1 race driving at a GP 2 or 3 level and a true top-flight F1 champion in a car with a GP 2 or 3 power level. Unacceptable . Fix it and fix it now

  20. I thought the crash was Sainz’s fault and he deserved a penalty.

    As expected after the crash both drivers blamed each other on team radio, my first thoughts were that because some fans don’t rate Stroll and don’t think he should be in F1, there would be quite a few blaming Stroll for incident regardless of what really happened, and I also thought that Sainz may try to blame Stroll’s inexperience for the crash.

    It is a shame that Stroll has still not finished his first Grand Prix, hopefully he can have some trouble free races so we can see if he is actually any good.

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