SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Daniil Kvyat was nicknamed ‘The Torpedo’ after a collision at the 2016 Chinese Formula One Grand Prix but the Russian felt unfairly punished after hitting both McLarens on another smashing Sunday.
The Toro Rosso driver, who eventually retired, was handed a drive-through penalty for causing a first-lap collision with British rookie Lando Norris, whose car bounced in the air, and Spaniard Carlos Sainz.
The impact damaged both McLarens and destroyed their hopes of scoring points.
“Regarding the lap-one incident I saw it quite many times now, I had time, and to be honest I totally disagree with the penalty,” Kvyat told Sky Sports television.
“I will speak with the stewards behind closed doors to find out what is their opinion on that.
“I don’t see ever this incident was very particular. It’s a typical lap one sandwich so these things happen,” added the 24-year-old.
Kvyat earned his nickname after Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel complained the Russian had tried to overtake him down the inside ‘like a torpedo’ in 2016, causing him to collide with then team mate Kimi Raikkonen.
The Russian did not race last year but has returned to the Red Bull-owned team that dropped him in 2017.
Nico Rosberg, the retired 2016 world champion who was in Shanghai as a television pundit, felt the Russian had a point although his reputation might not have helped.
“There’s the history of Daniel Kvyat messing up quite a lot. I would kind of want to tell him just be a bit more careful,” said the German.
“Just leave a bit more space and don’t go all sideways on the exit, taking so many risks. Then to blame him completely wouldn’t be right either,” he added.
Sainz, who was classified 14th while Norris retired, said he understood Kvyat’s frustration but he should have shown more patience in a 56-lap race where overtaking is perfectly possible.
The Spaniard pointed out also that Kvyat’s rookie Thai team mate Alexander Albon had finished 10th after starting from the pit lane.
“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,” said Sainz. “I don’t pray for penalties or ask for penalties. I just ask for a bit more patience in lap one.”
Norris said “it looked like a bit of a racing incident” but he needed to take a closer look.
Writing by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Toby Davis