Sainz loses three grid places for impeding Albon
McLaren had their best Canada qualifying since 2012 on Saturday. Unfortunately there was a sting in the tail, with stewards subsequently penalising Carlos Sainz for holding up Toro Rosso’s Alexander Albon.
It means Sainz – who had qualified ninth – is now set to drop to 12th on the grid for the start of Sunday’s race in Montreal, though he could yet regain a place if Kevin Magnussen is forced to take penalties for repairs to his crash-damaged Haas.
According to the stewards, Albon was on a fast lap when he closed the gap to Sainz, who was driving slowly on the racing line at Turn 2. Sainz was on the radio with McLaren at the time, talking about tyres, but their warning about the Thai driver approaching was given too late. Because of this, Albon had to abort his lap.
In addition to the three-place grid drop, Sainz was given a penalty point on his Super License, bringing his current 12-month tally to four.
“Tomorrow we’re not starting where we wanted because of a penalty which is disappointing," said Sainz, "but I’m confident we have a good chance of moving forwards and getting some points. Our pace was encouraging so I look forward to tomorrow. I like this track and we’ll be ready to grab any opportunity out there.”