Sainz hit with 3-place grid penalty after Stroll crash

SAKHIR, Bahrain (AP) Spanish driver Carlos Sainz Jr. has been given a three-place grid penalty for the next race in Russia after stewards ruled that he crashed into Canadian Lance Stroll during Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix.

Sainz was emerging from the pitstop and his Toro Rosso car hit Stroll's Williams car from the side on lap 13, forcing both out of the race and the safety car to come out.

Sainz was also handed two penalty points in addition to the grid penalty, which will be implemented at the Russian GP in Sochi in two weeks' time.

''(Sainz's) Car 55 left the pitlane and made a very optimistic attempt to pass car 18 into the corner,'' race stewards said in a statement. ''The above penalty is not susceptible to appeal.''

The 18-year-old Stroll, who is the youngest driver on the grid and competing in his first season in F1, wasn't happy with Sainz.

''I was like 50 (or) 60 meters ahead of him in the braking zone, and he just dive-bombed as I was turning,'' said Stroll, who is the son of billionaire Laurence Stroll. ''He just completely drove into the side of me. I just saw the video, it's ridiculous.''

But Sainz - who is the son of former world rally champion Carlos Sainz - took a different view.

''I think he simply didn't see me, and wasn't expecting me to be there,'' he said. ''He chose to take the risk and assume no one was there.''

Stroll is the first Canadian on the grid since 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve left F1 a decade ago.

He has shown good pace in practice but has retired from all three races so far this season.

''I am just disappointed and hope my luck turns round sometime soon,'' Stroll said. ''I can be frustrated, but it won't get me anywhere. On the bright side, there are many races to go.''

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