Toro Rosso's Sainz gets three-place German GP grid penalty

Carlos Sainz Jr has been handed a three-place grid penalty for impeding Felipe Massa during German Grand Prix qualifying

Toro Rosso's Sainz gets three-place German GP grid penalty

Massa had to take evasive action on the way to Turn 2 at Hockenheim to avoid Sainz's Toro Rosso.

Following an investigation after the session, the stewards deemed Sainz breached article 31.6 of Formula 1's sporting regulations - impeding another car.

As a result, Sainz, who qualified 13th, has been demoted three places for Sunday's race, while he has also received two penalty points, taking his tally to four.

Speaking before the decision, Sainz said: "I finished my qualifying lap and was doing my switches for the in lap.

"And as soon as I heard, 'careful, Felipe Massa is coming', he was already behind me into Turn 2 and I went onto the grass just to try and avoid any kind of impeding.

"I understand he got impeded so I apologise but thank god it didn't affect his qualifying much.

"I just got a very late call from the pitwall on it. There was nothing I could do differently."

Massa said he accepted that there was no malice from Sainz, and that the pair went to visit the stewards together.

"It was clear that he blocked me," he said.

"He didn't do it on purpose, I know him he's a very nice boy but this is the rules, what can you do?

"He was completely in my braking line and he didn't look to his mirrors and the team didn't inform him at the right time."

Sainz bemoaned the lack of power from Toro Rosso's one-year-old Ferrari power unit, saying Hockenheim is the first time the team has really felt the deficit.

"In the whole weekend Q3 was never properly in our sights," he said.

"We were always fighting for P11, P12, P13, and we know that when it comes to qualifying it becomes even worse and this is exactly what happened.

"It's the first track where we clearly see the lack of development on the engine side is hampering us.

"We're P13, just a couple of tenths from Q3 but in a power-limited track like this one, it's what we have at the moment.

"We are clearly struggling with what they had last season."

Sainz said the power unit is better than last year's Renault, but one step behind this year's specification powering Red Bull.

"This one is definitely more efficient, also a bit more power, particularly in the race and not so much qual compared to the Renault," he said.

"It's a step forward compared to the Renault of last year but it's probably one step behind the Renault this year and three steps behind the Mercedes this year.

"It's unbelievable what they have achieved this year with another development.

"The level of Force India and Williams here in sector two here is totally unreachable for us.

"They are still 5kmh quicker on the straight with max downforce and we are slower with really, really low downforce, which shows how tricky it is."

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