Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner criticised Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz Jr for causing a crash at the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix, deeming his punishment insufficient.
The outfit picked up its first double-points finish of 2017 in Monaco, but Romain Grosjean was its highest finisher at Montreal in 10th while team-mate Kevin Magnussen finished 12th having picked up a time penalty for overtaking Stoffel Vandoorne under the Virtual Safety Car.
Sainz has been handed a three-place grid penalty for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix after cutting off Grosjean and careering backwards into Felipe Massa into the Turn 3/4 chicane on the opening lap.
Grosjean called it a “very, very dangerous manoeuvre” with Williams’ Massa saying, “I was a complete passenger in the collision.”
The stewards handed Sainz a penalty for the race at Baku on June 25 as his lack of acknowledgement of the car in his blind-spot was deemed to be “careless and potentially dangerous.
“This was evidenced by the further collision of Car 8 [Grosjean] with Car 19 [Massa], a direct result of this incident, which caused the retirement of Car 19.
“The driver of car 55 [Sainz] claimed he checked his mirrors but that car 8 was in his blind spot and therefore he did not see it,” concluded the stewards, who also put two penalty points on his licence with a total of seven in the last 12 months.
“The punishment is too low,” said Steiner to Auto Motor und Sport.
“Grosjean had a full race ban after Spa in 2012 for ignoring other cars in his blind spot.”
Sainz blamed the lack of visibility in his mirrors in a post-race interview and apologised for causing the crash.
“All of a sudden, I touched with a Haas that was on my right-hand side,” said Sainz.
“I have to say I never saw the car there, it’s simply a dead angle in my mirrors so I never knew he was there.
“If I had realised he was there, of course I would’ve been more careful and left some space.
“Once we collided I was just a passenger, crashed into the wall and that was the end of my race unfortunately. I’d like to say sorry, especially to Felipe, who received a touch from me.”
But Haas boss Steiner classed the Toro Rosso driver as a repeat offender, refusing to accept his excuse due to previous crashes in Sainz’s career.
“[Sainz also] pushed Magnussen off the track in the exit of the pit lane at Barcelona,” Steiner explained.
“And, he messed up practice in Montreal because he did not look in the mirrors.
He added, “Either he needs glasses or larger mirrors.”
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