Carlos Sainz Jnr says the Toro Rosso team urged the stewards to penalise him for his incident with Alexander Albon in qualifying, despite admitting their driver’s session was not significantly compromised.
“What happened with Alex is that I went past him on my quick lap into the last chicane and he started the lap very close to me,” Sainz explained. “So I basically had no time to get out of his way into turn one. So I did unfortunately impede him a bit.
“The thing is – let’s see how I can say this without sounding too polemic – it was his Q1 run one, he had a second attempt in Q1 run two, he went through to Q2. After the qualifying I heard him saying in the media that he was not affected by the incident and that he was OK with it.
“But then when he got to the stewards his team and he were pushing flat-out for me to get a penalty. So not the best way to end a positive day for the team. But we are going to move on from it and make sure it doesn’t happen again and make sure we don’t do the same next time.”
Sainz believes his penalty was too harsh for the infringement. “It was an incident that I apologised for and the whole team apologises to Alex for impeding him in a not-so-relevant lap,” he said. “But it ended up costing us three places for tomorrow and it didn’t cost him much.”
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