SHANGHAI, China — Daniil Kvyat was bemused after copping a drive-through penalty for his opening lap collision with Lando Norris at the Chinese Grand Prix.
The pair tangled at Turn 6 in Shanghai after Kvyat had bumped into Norris’ McLaren teammate Carlos Sainz. While it initially looked like a racing incident, the stewards didn’t share that view, instead opting to pin the blame on Kvyat.
The Russian was slapped with a drive-through penalty — the third-harshest penalty which can be dished out during a race — one he did not agree with.
“It was a normal lap-one incident, one car coming from off the track and one car being sandwiched,” Kvyat said. “It was just a normal chain reaction. I didn’t see how that incident deserved a drive-through penalty, that’s for sure.”
Kvyat said he went and spoke with the stewards after the race to understand how they came up with the decision.
“We spoke. I think we found a good understanding, but we disagreed on a few things,” he said. “It was a very long meeting and I think they kind of understand that they were quite harsh today. I could feel it in their post-race conversation.”
Kvyat’s penalty relegated him to the back of the pack and from there Toro Rosso decided to retire the car, mainly because he is already on a second power unit. Norris also failed to finish, but Sainz came home in 14th and was critical of Kvyat’s first lap.
“We were just all fighting and at the exit of the corner I think someone didn’t enjoy going side by side and opened the wheel a bit too much and created a bit of a melee, let’s put it like that,” Sainz said. “I don’t pray for penalties or ask for penalties. I just ask for a bit more patience in lap one.
“It’s a very long race in Shanghai, there’s overtaking opportunities, [Alexander] Albon finished in the points starting from the pit-lane. You just need to be patient.”