MONTREAL, Canada -- Carlos Sainz has been handed a three-place grid penalty for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix after colliding with Romain Grosjean and Felipe Massa on the opening lap in Canada.
Sainz and Grosjean tangled on the run down to Turn 3, before the Toro Rosso spun onto the grass and collected Massa, forcing both men to retire from the race. Grosjean was furious with Sainz on the radio after the incident and said the Spaniard turned across his path, leading to contact.
The stewards agreed with Grosjean, issuing Sainz with a penalty for the next event.
Explaining the verdict, the stewards' statement said: "The driver of Car 55 [Sainz] claimed he checked his mirrors but that Car 8 [Grosjean] was in his blind spot and therefore he did not see it. Notwithstanding this, and our conclusion that the collision was not caused by a deliberate act on the part of the driver of Car 55, we find that his assumption (as he stated) that there was no car alongside him and therefore he could move to that track position , was careless and potentially dangerous.
"This was further evidenced by the collision of Car 55 with car 19 [Massa], a direct result of this incident, which caused the retirement of Car 19."
Sainz has also been awarded two penalty points on his superlicence, meaning he now has seven for the rolling 12 month period. Having 12 at any point leads to an automatic one-race ban.