Jarno Trulli has claimed that taking action to avert one possible opening lap accident at the Spanish Grand Prix led to him being at the centre of another that wiped out four contenders and forced the appearance of the safety car.
Having made a poor getaway from seventh on the grid, the Italian veteran found himself in a typical first corner Barcelona melee, attempting to find safe passage through the pack as it sorted itself out. However, with others coming close to touching ahead of him, the Toyota pilot was unable to take the path he intended, eventually ending up off the circuit at turn two. From there, it all went wrong as the TF109 - which had qualified on pole last time out in Bahrain - speared back onto the track, causing the chaos that eventually accounted for both Toro Rosso entries, as well as Force India's Adrian Sutil.
"I had a poor start because the engine didn't pull exactly as it should have done," Trulli reported, having made his way back to the paddock, "I lost some positions and was right behind [Fernando] Alonso and [Nico] Rosberg going into the first corner, but Rosberg went off during the next corner, and came back on to the track right next to me.
"I had to avoid him because he came back on really quickly. I had to steer off the track and lost control of the car over the grass, so I spun. Then someone hit me. It was very frustrating because I was optimistic our strategy was good and I would be able to score a lot of points, but there is no point in looking back. We have to focus on the next race when hopefully we can achieve a much better result."
Sutil appeared to be the main victim of Trulli's off-course flight, the German taking the full force on his rivals return to the track.
"I had a good start but, as I accelerated away from turn three, I saw a car flying into me," he revealed, "Jarno had spun on the inside of the corner and was just in front of me - I couldn't do anything. It went so quickly and my car was damaged, so I had to stop straight away. I will have a good look at the accident after the race, but it was just one of those incidents that can happen at the start. I wasn't injured, just disappointed I couldn't get to the end."
Meanwhile, Toro Rosso team-mates Sebastien Bourdais and Sebastien Buemi ended up collecting each other in the aftermath of the initial incident, with the Swiss rookie reporting a narrow escape as his team-mate rode over the top of him.
“I'm not really sure what happened," the GP2 graduate admitted, "I do know that I didn't get a very good start, so that [Kimi] Raikkonen and [Heikki] Kovalainen overtook me before the first corner. Then, at the exit of the second corner, Trulli spun and I had to brake to avoid him. My team-mate did not see I was slowing down and could not avoid me. His car went over mine - I saw his tyre go over my head.”
Bourdais countered by claiming that he had been aware of cars checking up ahead of him, but had no time to react.
“I became aware everything was slowing down in front and I didn't even have the time to brake before I was flying over the back of my team-mate's car," he confirmed, "I thought I was going to roll over.”
With all four cars out of the race, and abandoned machined and debris littering the start of the lap, race organisers had no option but to deploy the safety car, adding a strategic element to the 66-lap race that allowed Jenson Button and Brawn GP to make up for a poor start of their own and come through to claim a fourth win from five races.