Stoffel Vandoorne says he had “nowhere to go” when he got sandwiched on the opening lap of the Brazilian GP in an incident that resulted in his retirement.
Fighting for track position at the start of the grand prix, Haas’ Kevin Magnussen went up the inside of Vandoorne while Daniel Ricciardo tried to go around the outside.
The sandwich didn’t work at all well with contact between Vandoorne and Magnussen, both of whom retired, while Ricciardo was pitched into a spin.
“I had a very good launch, almost straight past the Force India and the Haas,” Vandoorne explained.
“It was very tight with Esteban [Ocon] and with Romain [Grosjean], nearly avoiding an accident there. We had a good first corner and then it bunched up.
“Unfortunately, I got squeezed in Turn 2. We were in the middle of a sandwich and there was nowhere to go for me. I was just a passenger.
“We had contact and that was an unfortunate end to our race.”
The stewards declared that there was no blame in the incident.
“From my side, we were three-wide through the corner,” said Magnussen.
“There was contact with Vandoorne who then had contact with Ricciardo.
“I broke my front suspension, so it wasn’t the best.
“If I’d realised earlier that Ricciardo was on the outside of Vandoorne, then perhaps I’d have given more room, but by the time I saw Ricciardo it was too late.
“I’d already carried the speed.”