Sainz upset Kristoffersson’s penalty wasn’t bigger

Johan Kristoffersson and Carlos Sainz collided, pitching Sainz into a roll that earned Kristoffersson a 30s penalty

Carlos Sainz (ESP), Acciona | Sainz XE Team

Carlos Sainz has been released from hospital after his Extreme E crash in the Island X-Prix, but is really unhappy that Johan Kristoffersson escaped with just a 30-second penalty.

Reigning XE champion Kristoffersson, racing for Rosberg X Racing, and Acciona Sanz’s Sainz both made the best starts to round two of the 2022 season, Sainz leading Kristoffersson as the pair split off down different routes – Kristoffersson taking the alternate line.

But as they merged, Kristofferson’s Odyssey 21 made contact with Sainz’s and pitched the 1990 and ’92 World Rally champion into a spectacular roll.

There was heavy front-end damage for Kristoffersson but he was able to continue, handing the car over to Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky for what they thought was a second win of the season.

Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky (SWE) / Johan Kristoffersson (SWE), Rosberg X Racing

However, a few hours after the race had ended the stewards intervened and added 30 seconds to RXR’s race time, dropping it to third behind Chip Ganassi Racing – which took its first ever XE victory – and maiden podium visitors XITE Energy Racing.

Sainz was taken to hospital for checks and got the all clear, but he felt Kristofferson’s punishment didn’t fit the crime.

“Luckily all the medical checks were fine and I have just been released from the hospital, although I feel quite a lot of pain,” Sainz said in a statement.

“I am really disappointed nevertheless with what happened on the track and even more so with the fact there was only a 30-second penalty for who caused this big accident.

“In over 40 years in motorsports, this is one of the most serious actions that I have ever seen without an exemplary penalty.

“Thanks a lot to everyone for your messages of support.”

In a statement of his own, Kristofferson said he respected the stewards’ verdict, although he didn’t believe he was necessarily at fault.

“[The] most important [thing] is that Carlos is OK,” Kristofferson said.

“Unfortunate racing incident with us arriving together into the merging track. He was in my blind spot so I didn’t see him.

“We respect the stewards’ opinion.”