Daniil Kvyat went to the stewards to dispute the penalty he received for causing a collision at the start of the Chinese Grand Prix.
Exiting Turn 6 on the opening lap of the race, Kvyat was on the inside of the two McLarens, with Carlos Sainz slightly behind and Lando Norris further wide. As Kvyat moved to his left exiting the corner, Norris suffered oversteer on the artificial turf and moved to his right, sandwiching Sainz who was hit by both drivers. The contact with Kvyat was bigger, pitching the Toro Rosso into Norris, an incident that eventually saw the latter two retire and the stewards give Kvyat a drive-through penalty.
“Regarding the Lap 1 incident, I saw it many times now, and to be honest, I totally disagree with the penalty and I will speak with the stewards behind closed doors to find out their opinion on that,” Kvyat said before heading to race control.
“There was absolutely no understeer, nothing like that — it was a corner exit and the car was already very straight and the regulations say you have to leave one car width next to the car next to me.
“It was a three cars in one corner, and one car coming back on track very sharply, so the other car was sandwiched behind us. Then I went in the air when a car hit me from behind and then I went into Norris. I will speak behind closed doors with the stewards to find a solution and understand it.
“I haven’t seen Carlos’s onboard, I’ve seen Lando’s and my onboard and I think this incident was very particular and a Lap 1 sandwich. These things happen especially on Lap 1, so I don’t understand this.”
Toro Rosso looked extremely quick throughout the long runs in Friday practice, and with Alexander Albon climbing into the top 10 from a pit lane start Kvyat was left to rue a missed opportunity.
“I think it was an unfortunate race. I think the pace we had today, even with a broken car after the Lap 1 crash, was very, very strong. It was very unpleasant not to be able to transfer the pace into anything for two races in a row now. It is a cold shower for us because the potential was there to be very deep in the points.”
While Norris described the collision as a racing incident on first viewing, Sainz was more critical of Kvyat’s role in the contact.
“Obviously I understand his frustrations but anything can happen,” Sainz said. “It is Lap 1 and there are 55 laps to go so if you don’t get the best of starts… look at your teammate who has finished in the points starting from the pit lane. It is a long race and you don’t have to open the steering wheel on the exit of a corner when you know you have two McLarens side by side. I think he knew that we were there.
“It is a long race here in Shanghai and you can overtake here, so if you don’t get the best of starts you have to be patient and get back in the points. That is exactly what Lando and I were doing but we were in a melee. It is a shame.”