SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium — Oscar Piastri and Carlos Sainz both suggested the other had been at fault for their collision at the Belgian Grand Prix.
Piastri’s hopes of replicating his podium heroics from Saturday’s sprint were undone immediately when he was struck on the left-hand side by Sainz, who had locked up under braking on the approach to La Source.
Piastri’s front-right tyre then clipped the inside wall, breaking the McLaren’s suspension and leading to his retirement a few corners later.
The hit left Sainz’s Ferrari with a large hole in the sidepod and he would retire from the race 22 laps later.
Asked who was to blame, Piastri said: “I think it’s quite firmly in the category of a lap 1, Turn 1 incident.
“I got a good start, got my nose alongside, when we got to the braking zone Carlos moved to the right and locked up, I also had to try and avoid that a bit, and then from there to the apex my options were quite limited in where I can go.”
He added: “I think from Carlos’ point of view the move to the right surprised me a bit, then for myself, from there I was quite limited. Maybe I could have broken later and been more alongside, but it’s very easy to say that with hindsight.”
The damage led to a scary moment for Piastri as he slowly drove through the fearsome Eau Rouge corner with a damaged car.
“It wasn’t fun, that’s for sure,” the Australian said of the experience. “I think I was quite lucky that everyone got around me before Eau Rouge then the way the steering was I kind of managed to get to the left side of the track before the bottom of Eau Rouge, so from that point it was OK.”
“But it’s not very fun going around a slightly curved straight when you couldn’t steer.”
Sainz felt Piastri’s move had been too ambitious.
“I think I was on the attack with Lewis and pretty much had the move down into turn 1, made the apex cleanly, but unfortunately Oscar was trying to do a bit of an optimistic move on me I think,” Sainz said.
“A bit of a shame because when you review the past races here in Spa and you know what has been a typical turn 1 incident it’s exactly that, everyone who tries the inside line in turn 1 and tries to make it around there normally generates an incident or a crash and this time it was my turn to receive.”
The race stewards chose not to investigate the incident.