Carlos Sainz has been handed a three-place grid penalty for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix which occurs in two weeks time. The penalty comes following the collision with Romain Grosjean on the opening lap of the race which saw Sainz and Felipe Massa taken out.
Sainz was sent into a spin after hitting Grosjean on the run into turn three. Massa was in the wrong place at the wrong time as the Toro Rosso came sweeping through the corner facing the wrong way, collecting Massa on his way to the barriers.
"I had a good start and was in P12, trying to overtake Fernando [Alonso] around the outside of Turn 2," said Sainz. "He got better traction than me out of there so I focused on positioning myself to try and attack him into Turn 3 and, all of a sudden, I touched with a Haas that was on my right-hand side."
Sainz acknowledges that the incident was his fault and apologised to Massa for ending his race prematurely: "Once we collided I was just a passenger, crashed into the wall and that was the end of my race. I'd like to say sorry, especially to Felipe, who received a touch from me."
The stewards investigated the incident post race and decided that the Spaniard was at fault for the incident. They released a statement which confirmed his three-place drop for the next round of the world championship.
"The driver of Car 55 (Sainz Jr.) claimed he checked his mirrors but that Car 8 (Grosjean) was in his blind spot and therefore he did not see it," read the stewards' statement.
"Notwithstanding this, and our conclusion that the collision was not caused by a deliberate act on the part of the driver of Car 55, we find that his assumption (as he stated) that there was no car alongside him and therefore he could move to that track position, was careless and potentially dangerous. This was evidenced by the further collision of Car 8 with Car 19 (Massa), a direct result of this incident, which caused the retirement of Car 19."
Along with the grid drop comes two points to his super license with takes his tally over a 12 month period up to 12.