Sainz criticises inconsistent penalties after Palmer Abu Dhabi clash

Carlos Sainz Jr says the penalty given to Jolyon Palmer after their clash in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix highlights how inconsistent Formula 1's stewards are

Sainz criticises inconsistent penalties after Palmer Abu Dhabi clash

Toro Rosso driver Sainz passed the Renault for 13th at the hairpin on lap 40 but came under pressure when he lost time moving aside for the two Red Bulls further round the lap.

Palmer rear-ended Sainz under braking for Turn 17, breaking his own front wing and spinning the Toro Rosso, and the Briton was handed a five-second penalty as a result.

Sainz compared that to his own punishment in the Russian Grand Prix earlier this season when he was awarded a 10-second penalty and two penalty points on his licence for another incident with Palmer.

"That's the FIA sometimes," said Sainz, who retired a lap after the clash with a gearbox problem.

"He takes me out of the race and I have to retire.

"I run him a bit wide off the track in Russia and I get 10 seconds.

"You can see the effect of one manoeuvre and the other and how inconsistent penalties are nowadays.

"Five seconds it doesn't change his life much but I think he perfectly knows he did a mistake and the FIA perfectly knows.

"[He] might need to be a bit more careful because he has hit two Toro Rossos in two races so he has something to think about in the winter."

Sainz was not completely sure the hit from Palmer caused the gearbox failure but claimed there had not been any issue prior to the clash.

He also praised the team for responding to the issues that blighted its Friday running.

"[It was a] good job by the team to solve the issues," he said.

"It's been a very difficult weekend but we managed to come away with beating the Renaults up until we retired, beating the Sauber, beating the Manor without any track running, so I think we need to be pleased."

Palmer accepted the contact with Sainz was his fault but claimed there was little he could do to avoid the "racing incident".

"I think he broke quite cautiously as well and when I was right behind him I couldn't slow down as quick," said Palmer, who ran 11th early on but eventually finished 17th.

"To be honest if you hit someone at the back then it never looks good but it was a mistake and I couldn't stop the car in time.

"I would say it's a racing accident. No malicious intent, it was a very small tap and we're both scrambling about with very low grip and racing very close."

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