Mclaren driver Carlos Sainz took full responsibility for the crash that happened on the first lap at Turn 2 in the Russian Grand Prix, but later after the race he said that the tight off track chicane at Turn 2 in Sochi Autodrome where he hit the wall was not properly designed.
The spanish national was the first to crash as Racing point’s Lance Stroll crashed on the same spot after a few seconds after Charles Leclerc made contact with the RP20, Sainz had gone offtrack and later hit the wall on his left side of the MCL35 damaging the front tyre. Both drivers retired from the race. The Mclaren driver who had started on the 6th position, would later take the blame for the crash.
“The angle was really, really narrow to go around the bollard and I just misjudged my entry speed, the track was very dirty, and [I] crashed pretty heavily against that wall. It is frustrating, but at the same time there’s always going to be some mistakes during the year. Today was my mistake and I apologise to the team for it.” Carlos Sainz said, and although he accepted the mistake he also added that the narrow chicane at Turn 2 was making life difficult for the drivers if they went off at that corner.
“I’m definitely looking forward to Nurburgring to try and redeem a bit myself, but at the same time I think that corner is not very well designed,” he said. “It’s forcing drivers to take very strange lines and very strange incidents like the five-second penalties that we are given if we don’t negotiate that chicane next to a wall.
“But it is what it is and I got it wrong today,” the Mclaren driver also added.
The race director Michael Masi also accepted that Turn 2 was a force to reckon with as he and his team have been always grappling with.
“Turn 2 has been one of those that’s been a challenge in different ways each year,” Masi said.
“You fix things in one way, and it has another impact in another. So we’re trying to find the best solution, and I think we’ve found a reasonable solution. Now is there room for improvement? Yes. There’s always room for improvement.” he added.
Some observers have suggested to replace the tarmac runoff with a gravel trap but Michael Masi dismissed the statements saying that the gravel trap does not work at every track or every corner.
“As I’ve said a number of times that there’s different solutions for different circuits, different corners, taking everything into account. And gravel is not a solution everywhere.”
“With regards to speeds in run-offs, one of the things that obviously we’ve tried to achieve and aim to achieve is primarily that the rejoin in such circumstances is effectively funnelled in a way that it’s as safe as possible. That’s the primary objective.
“Secondary is to slow cars down if possible within that area. However, the nature of Turn 2, because of literally the nature of the corner, it’s very hard to find a one-size fits all solution. So we’ll continue looking at it, and see what we can do.” Masi concluded