SILVERSTONE -- Daniil Kvyat is convinced Toro Rosso teammate Carlos Sainz could have avoided their collision on the first lap of the British Grand Prix.
Kvyat and Sainz had been battling through Copse, before the Russian driver got wide at Becketts and lost control of his car. That spun him across the track and into Sainz, who had been on the outside of the corner, forcing the Spaniard into an immediate retirement.
Though Kvyat continued on, he soon received a drive-through penalty and two points on his superlicence, taking him to the cusp of a one-race ban. Though happy to accept his own role in the incident he insists Sainz should be held equally responsible.
"I knew already that I wouldn't be on the perfect line for Turn 12, where the collision happened, since Turn 10, because you're committed to the corner very fast," Kvyat said. "Second of all I didn't leave the track. Me and the team both agreed on that, because the punishment was for leaving the track and rejoining the circuit.
"I'm narrowly within the track limits, and we believe the penalty was too harsh for what really happened ... The racing driver knows when he sees what happens to me that you're never going to be on the perfect line for Turn 12. So when you put yourself there, you know the collision is 90 per cent unavoidable. I believe had the other car been anticipating it, it would have been trying to get me back on the next straight.
"But it didn't happen. You just put yourself there and say to your teammate 'OK, you just crash into me'. That's what I believe happened, and I completely disagree with the penalty. Yes, of course the responsibility is on me also, but I think we both should be feeling responsible for what happened."
When asked if the team agreed with him, he says: "I've spoken with James [Key, techincal director], and we're both in agreement that we're both responsible for what happened. It's a bit of a shame. It's a misunderstanding."
Kvyat says Sainz often fails to treat his teammate's car with restraint.
"I think when he pushed me off the track in the first four races, nobody told him anything. I believe that these things happen, it's started again, and I believe he should keep his distance from me on Lap 1 in general. I believe it's best for the team. It's a shame really."
The two Toro Rosso teammates have not had the best relationship since being paired together early in 2016 and Kvyat doubts the events of Silverstone will help.
Pressed on how the incident would impact their relationship going forward, he said: "It's never been fantastic really, so I don't expect anything to change to be honest. Just carry on. To be honest, I don't think had any intention to be racing each other there. I left him room in Turn 11, and I expected him also to collaborate also in Turn 12, and this collaboration never happened. That's what I think is the most frustrating, there was no intention to be aggressive with each other.
"Not from my side, nor I believe from his side. That's the most upsetting thing. If you really push the limits and then you crash, you say 'OK yeah, you were aggressive with each other', but I didn't have any intention to do that. When I was going wide on that corner, you don't expect anyone to be on your outside there."