Gutierrez ‘respects but disagrees with’ penalty

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Esteban Gutierrez was keen to stress he “respected” the FIA’s decision to penalize him during the Belgian Grand Prix even though he did not agree with it.

The Sauber racer was handed a drive-through penalty after running off the track at Blanchimont while overtaking Pastor Maldonado.

“I totally respect the FIA’s decision to penalize me for overtaking Pastor, but I don’t agree with the penalty,” said Gutierrez.

It was a frustrating weekend for the Sauber driver who showed pace in practice but was knocked out in the first part of qualifying and started from the back row of the grid.

“We lost a lot of time in the first stint with the traffic I encountered as I was coming from the back of the field,” he said. “The strategy we planed was not ideal, so we had to change it and that still wasn’t perfect.”

However Gutierrez says his car’s pace in the race has raised his hopes of scoring points before the end of the season: “To be able to fight and to extract the maximum today is good to know.”

“Now we have to improve in qualifying, because I think with the pace we have we can still fight for the top ten.”

Toro Rosso boss hopes to see Kvyat return to Formula 1

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Toro Rosso chief Franz Tost hopes to see sacked driver Daniil Kvyat return to Formula 1 in the near future, saying the Russian “deserves” a place on the grid.

Toro Rosso dropped Kvyat twice through the 2017 season due to poor form, with his final dismissal coming after the United States Grand Prix in October.

Kvyat is no longer part of Red Bull’s motorsport program and is exploring options both inside and outside of F1 for 2018, and Tost feels he could be energized by some time away before returning.

“I am still convinced that Daniil has a very high natural speed. He was sometimes even faster than Daniel Riccardo, but somehow last year and this year he couldn’t show the potential that is within him,” Tost told the official F1 website.

“He was involved in many incidents, but in his defence I also have to say that he had many reliability issues and that didn’t help build up confidence. Being the victim of too many incidents killed the performance he would have been able to show.

“Maybe a short break – to get organized again – and probably we will see Daniil back at his usual performance level with another team.

“Sometimes he was too aggressive at the beginning of the race. The first corner was his weak point. He wanted too much in the first hundred meters – success by any means!

“That puts you under pressure – unnecessary pressure – and that never works.

“I hope for him that he gets another chance, as I think he deserves to be in F1.”