Charles Leclerc blames Lance Stroll’s Racing Point team-mate Sergio Perez for their first-lap collision at the Russian GP.
No action was taken against Leclerc and Stroll couldn’t quite believe it.
“I’m quite surprised he didn’t get a penalty,” Stroll reflected back in the paddock after his early DNF.
“I gave him plenty of room. I did the whole corner on the outside and he just tagged my right rear. I gave him all the room I could and it was unlucky, but he could have avoided it.
“He didn’t have to run so wide into me. I think it’s ridiculous he didn’t get a penalty.
“A lot was possible today. I think I was P7 at that point. I had a great start on the good tyre, so it’s really a shame.”
But Leclerc said the incident was caused by a snap of oversteer as he followed Perez in the other Racing Point.
“I tried to go on the inside of Lance in turn four,” said Leclerc, as quoted by Racefans.net.
“Then in the middle of the corner Perez took the apex.
“When I was behind him, I understeered quite a bit and then we made contact with Lance.”
🌇 And so the sun sets on Sochi – some… interesting… moments out there today, but what a fantastic performance all weekend by @SChecoPerez 👏
— BWT Racing Point F1 Team (@RacingPointF1) September 27, 2020
While Racing Point boss Otmar Szafnauer wasn’t specifically pointing the finger at Leclerc, he did absolve his driver of blame for the incident.
“It was a bittersweet race with Lance being taken out of the race on lap one – through no fault of his own – when Leclerc hit his right rear tyre. That spun Lance around and into the wall,” he said.
“It’s a massive shame because he had made a superb start and was already up in seventh right behind [Sergio Perez]. Given the pace of the car, it’s frustrating that Lance couldn’t score the points he deserved today.”
Stroll scored his first podium finish of the season at the Belgian Grand Prix, but that has been followed by back-to-back DNFs at Mugello and Sochi.
That means that after holding P4 in the Drivers’ Championship at one stage, Stroll is now down to P8 in the standings.
But it’s extremely tight in that area of the Drivers’ standings, and a seven-point swing would see Stroll return to P4.
Stroll and Leclerc are currently tied on 57 points.