Carlos Sainz has accepted full blame for his "misjudgement" on the opening Formula 1 lap of the Russian Grand Prix which led to the Spaniard’s retirement.

The McLaren driver was forced to take to the run-off area on the opening lap in Sochi.

In accordance with the stewards’ ruling, drivers who take to the run-off at Turn 2 must go through the bollards - which Sainz did at great speed, clipping the wall on the exit and ending his race on Lap 1.

Reflecting on it, Sainz said: "I didn’t have a very good start, the dirty side of the grid was terrible – we were all slow off the line.

"And then unfortunately at Turn 2 I had someone on the inside, I ran a bit wide, and by the time I decided to go around the bollard, I went around the bollard with a very narrow-angle and I misjudged my entry speed around the bollard and hit the wall pretty heavily.

"So a misjudgement by my side, a mistake, but I still think that corner shouldn’t exist. It’s not a nice corner to drive around and it generates these kind of these situations."

McLaren teammate Lando Norris endured a difficult race after suffering from a steering issue for much of it.

“It was very tough. I had a good start, a good run down to Turn 1 and got past a few,” Norris said. “I had to try and avoid a few of the people who overshot into Turn 1 completely and risked everyone else’s races in some ways. But then I still got damage from all the debris and then hit something on the car and it damaged it in some ways. I don’t know what happened with that - that’s something we’ve got to investigate with that steering feeling.

“I think that was the biggest difficulty of all of it was trying to get used to that. As soon as you lack a bit of feeling in this kind of car it’s very difficult to drive and my judgement every lap was changing because sometimes it would almost fix itself and be better again, I would push into the next one and it would completely go.

“Very difficult race, I did my best. I am very happy with how I did from where we were and the positions we got put into from out of our control.”




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