Carlos Sainz and Haas team boss Günther Steiner have become engaged in a war of words after the former crashed into Haas driver Romain Grosjean on the opening lap of the Canadian Grand Prix.
The incident eliminated Sainz from the race straight away, as he lost control of his Toro Rosso and collected the Williams of Felipe Massa as well before ending up in the Turn 3 wall himself. Grosjean however was able to continue and finished in tenth place, albeit after pitting for repairs and putting on a fresh set of supersoft tyres for the remaining laps.
After the race, Sainz issued an apology via Twitter to both Grosjean and Massa, saying that “Romain was simply on my blind spot and [I] never got to see him. Glad we are all OK!”
He later clarified his remarks when talking to the media, insisting that the limitations of his rear-view mirrors were partly to blame for the clash:
“We’ve been complaining [about rear-view mirrors] all year. We all know what’s happening this year with the low rear wings, having the mirrors just in front of us doesn’t give you a clear picture of what’s going on around you.”
He also added that he hopes the FIA takes notice and “finds a solution for this kind of thing.”
Steiner, however, dismissed Sainz’ explanation, and countered that “If he knew before [the mirrors] were too small, [Toro Rosso] should have changed them.
“You can’t say, ‘Oh my mirrors are too small and I can’t see, but I keep on using them!’ That is not our problem. If he has got too small mirrors, that is quite a dull excuse.”
The Sainz-Grosjean collision was one half of a generally unhappy race for the Haas team, in which Kevin Magnussen finished a lap down in twelfth position after being penalised for passing Stoffel Vandoorne under Virtual Safety Car conditions.
James Matthews, Deputy Editor