Russell’s punishment was deserved. Top pilots generally do not make such mistakes

Carlos Sainz; photo: Ferrari

Carlos Sainz was in pole position for US Grand Prix, but dropped out after the start of the race. He lost to Max Verstappen his position at the start, then at the stop for the first turn George Russell hit him. Sainz started to take the corner when the Mercedes driver backed him up and spun him. Fortunately, the other contestants managed to get around him. The Spanish driver of Ferrari managed to reach the pits, where, however, the team only collected his car. Russell received a 5 second penalty for the incident. Sainz approved the sanction.

“I didn’t make the best possible start. I think Max had a great ride. My ride wasn’t too bad compared to the Mercedes. We’ve seen here for many years that the driver in second position actually starts better than the one in pole position. The reasons are still not entirely clear to us,” said Sainz.

“Then I was in the middle of a fight with Max and suddenly someone who was completely outside of this fight stepped in. Hit me. I don’t think it needs much explanation and pictures. The punishment was certainly deserved. I’m not going to get into whether he deserved 5 seconds, 10 or a pit stop.”

“Similar incidents between drivers in the top 3 are not seen because the best drivers generally don’t make this type of mistakes,” Sainz added.

“I don’t have much to say… I managed to get home in pita, but the car was too badly damaged to continue. I think the pace was there and it could have been an interesting race. But I prefer to look ahead and focus on Mexico. This season it’s a bit difficult for me to get results, but I will keep fighting until the final,” added Sainz.

Russell apologized to Sainz in person after the race. Ferrari sporting director Laurent Mekis noted that the Mercedes driver has also apologized to the entire team for what happened.

“I didn’t want to do that to another driver,” Russell said.

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