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Moscow FR3.5: Sainz Jr gets grid penalty for Rowland collision

Formula Renault 3.5 championship leader Carlos Sainz Jr has been given a grid penalty for colliding with title rival Oliver Rowland in race one at Moscow Raceway.

Sainz and Rowland clashed at the final corner on lap seven of the race, as both were trying to recover from their cars stalling on the grid before the start.

Replays of the incident were not conclusive, only showing that Rowland had made a move down the inside into the 90-degree left-hander and the cars made side-to-side contact.

The crash, which occurred while the drivers were fighting over 17th place, brought an end to Rowland's race, while Sainz rejoined and finished 14th.

However, race officials investigated the incident after the race and handed the Spaniard a two-place grid penalty for causing the collision.

"It looks like nowadays you cannot race any driver, because especially if you are leading the championship they are going to look to you with more eyes than anyone else," Sainz told AUTOSPORT.

"I just defended my position and we collided. You cannot race each other because you get a penalty too easy, that's my point of view.

"Anyway, now we focus on tomorrow, and I hope we can have a better day and score some valuable points."

The championship leader was already having a tough weekend before receiving that news, as he had only managed to qualify 16th for the first race.

His points advantage of 43 points remained in tact after the first race of the weekend, as his closest challenger, Pierre Gasly, also had to be wheeled off the grid before the start.

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