Adrian Sutil’s hopes and dreams of scoring a point today in Austin were dashed on the first lap when he was taken out by Sergio Perez at Turn 15. Coincidentally, it was the second straight year the two drivers collided on the first lap of the United States Grand Prix – difference was last year Perez drove for McLaren and Sutil for Force India. Perez is now with Force India and Sutil with Sauber.
Sutil started ninth, a season-best, for his first Q3 appearance since the 2013 British Grand Prix, as he looked to deliver both his and Sauber’s first points of the year. It was Sauber’s best start of the season, as well.
“Today was a good opportunity for us to score points or really try and have a chance,” Sutil told NBCSN’s Will Buxton in the pits. “Sergio did a silly move in my opinion. I couldn’t see it. Car was completely broken. He almost hit Raikkonen. We’ll keep trying and hope for some points. We need two. I think he should come and see me pretty soon… let’s see what he says.”
Perez has spoke as well, also to Buxton: “It’s really unfortunate. This is one of those races you really want everything to go perfect. Very soon in the race, very early, I got into contact with Sutil. I saw the opportunity. I will take responsibility. I took a gamble and it didn’t work out. Sorry for that. We have some telemetry to prove I was having issues with the brakes. We can explain what happened.”
This brought out the first safety car of the race and caused several pit stops.
Pastor Maldonado, Esteban Gutierrez and Jean-Eric Vergne have just been issued 5-second stop-and-go penalties for speeding behind the safety car.
Watch the USGP on NBC and NBC Sports Live Extra as we speak.