Sirotkin perplexed stewards didn't ask him about Perez clash

Sirotkin perplexed stewards didn't ask him about Perez clash
Valentin Khorounzhiy
By: Valentin Khorounzhiy
Apr 30, 2018, 12:21 PM

Williams Formula 1 driver Sergey Sirotkin says he was perplexed by the fact the FIA stewards did not hear him out before penalising him for his Baku race clash with Sergio Perez.

Esteban Ocon, Force India VJM11 Mercedes, Carlos Sainz Jr., Renault Sport F1 Team R.S. 18, Sergio Perez, Force India VJM11 Mercedes, Sergey Sirotkin, Williams FW41 Mercedes, and the remainder of the field at the start
Sergey Sirotkin, Williams Racing, in the drivers parade
Third place Sergio Perez, Force India celebrates on the podium with the champagne
Sergey Sirotkin, Williams FW41
Sergey Sirotkin, Williams FW41 crashed on lap one
Sergey Sirotkin, Williams FW41 and Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL33
Sergey Sirotkin, Williams FW41 with broken front suspension
Sergio Perez, Force India VJM11
Sergio Perez, Force India VJM11

Sirotkin hit the Force India of Perez from behind under braking into Turn 2 on the opening lap, with the collision leading Perez to make contact with the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen.

The Mexican would go on to finish the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in third, whereas Sirotkin's race lasted only until the following straight, where he was involved in a three-car collision with Fernando Alonso and Nico Hulkenberg and retired on the spot.

He was subsequently assessed a three-place grid penalty that he is set to serve in the Spanish Grand Prix.

Speaking to media after the Baku race, Sirotkin was incredulous over why he hadn't been summoned to the stewards - and said he initially thought the penalty had stemmed from the Alonso/Hulkenberg clash instead.

"I was not even asked [about the penalty], to be honest," the Williams driver said. "We saw replay hundreds of times and none of us probably find it obvious why.

"it is such a chaotic race, you know, when so many crazy things happening. It was a bit of a contact, but it's racing and especially it's a first lap, it is a start of the race.

"No one asked. I did not get the point what [the penalty was] for.

"I was really sure it's for the contact afterwards, which would be in the same way also unfair, but to me it had much more something under it."

Sirotkin said his Williams was undamaged in the Perez clash, and reckoned the situation had played out "perfect" for him, as he looked to be fighting in the top 10 heading out of Turn 2.

"I checked when I got out of the car, I went to see my nose on purpose and it was zero, zero, zero [damage] on the nose.

"It was exactly perfect [to] kind of maintain position, because in still chaotic things like this you still need to be - if you are not doing something, the people [are] doing something on you.

"Exiting Turn 2 I was really, like, wow, that was right on the limit, but it was perfect."

The Russian was adamant his move didn't ruin Perez's race or at all damage the Force India, although the Mexican confirmed post-race that the contact with Raikkonen broke his front wing and necessitated a pitstop.

Additional reporting by Oleg Karpov

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