Krack critical of Stroll’s ‘very harsh’ Chinese GP penalty

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Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack contested what he considered as a "very harsh" 10-second time penalty handed to Lance Stroll for a collision with Daniel Ricciardo in Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix.

This incident occurred just ahead of the race’s restart after a Safety Car period. As the field of cars headed down towards Shanghai’s Turn 14 hairpin, Fernando Alonso locked up and created a concertina effect among those directly behind the Aston Martin driver.

While everyone slowed, Stroll was caught out by the moment and hit the back of Ricciardo’s RB car, inflicting damage that eventually forced the Aussie to retire, depriving him of a chance to score his first points of the season.

Stroll initially laid the blame on Ricciardo. However, the stewards were unimpressed by the Canadian’s inattention and handed him a 10-second penalty.

It was the second sanction suffered by Aston Martin’s drivers, with Alonso also hit with a 10-second punishment for causing a collision with Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz in Saturday’s Sprint event.

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Krack took exception with the officials’ decision regarding Stroll.

"The stewards have been tough on Lance and Fernando recently," commented the Aston Martin team boss. "This weekend as well.

“We had it in the sprint race, we had it in Melbourne, we had with Lance, a very, very quick verdict today without really understanding.

“I thought it was very, very fast and very harsh, a very quick decision. This is how it is."


Krack said the team tried to defend Stroll’s case with the stewards, but to no avail.

"I think it was a chain reaction at the end of the day,” he said. “You saw Fernando [Alonso] locking and another car behind and I think everybody was a little bit caught out there.

"I would have liked that this would have been looked at in a little bit more detailed way. We tried to discuss it, but the verdict was very quickly that Lance was to blame. And he got a 10-second penalty, additional to the front wing damage."

Ricciardo felt particularly upset by Stroll’s refusal to own up to his mistake, let alone apologize, although he later admitted that that the RB driver had been a victim of unfortunate circumstances.

"These situations are created in the front," Krack said. "Now, you can always say, you need to be more careful.

"But on the other hand if you're too careful, and you have the restart and you lose more than one car length - everybody says 'are you asleep?'

"Things like that happen at different tracks. You remember the incident we had in Mugello [at the 2020 Tuscan GP], where there were a lot of cars involved.

"This is always the erratic movement that happens on a safety car restart. And we have some of these every year and it will continue to be."

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