via Reuters

Carlos Sainz incurred a hefty penalty for a crash during the first practice session at the Las Vegas GP through no fault of his own. The incident left the Spaniard frustrated and questioning the rules employed by the FIA. The aftermath of his unfortunate crash became a topic of discussion at the Team Representatives press conference ahead of the season finale in Abu Dhabi. Rival team bosses have dismissed Sainz’s response to the severe penalty imposed on his Ferrari rather mercilessly.

During the first practice session in Las Vegas, a loose drain cover wrecked Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari. The crash damaged the survival cell, engine, energy store, and control electronics beyond repair. The consequence? A ten-place penalty, a bitter pill to swallow for a driver who believed he had paid the price for the sport’s shortcomings.

Rival Team Principals shared a united perspective against Ferrari’s plea to reverse the Carlos Sainz penalty


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Following the 10-place grid penalty, Carlos Sainz pleaded to the stewards for penalty-free repairs. However, his request was met with firm resistance from race stewards. They claimed that they were bound by the letter of the law as written in the regulations. Even in the face of what they deemed mitigating, unusual, and unfortunate circumstances, the stewards asserted that their hands were tied.

The Spaniard, vocal in his dissatisfaction, painted a vivid picture of Formula 1’s need for improvement. “What happened today for me is a very clear example of how this sport can be improved in so many ways,” said Carlos Sainz. Fast forward to the season finale in Abu Dhabi. The Team Representatives’ press conference turned into a stage for rival Team Bosses to share their views.

“I think it’s the stewards’ decision, and it’s not because the other teams said XYZ. I think it’s very unfortunate for Carlos. But I don’t – frankly speaking – I don’t see what other choice FIA stewards had in that case,” remarked Alpine Team principal Bruno Famin when asked whether Formula 1 needs to revisit some of its rules for such rare incidents. “It happened that you are taken in a crash, you have nothing to do with the crash or somebody push you and you lose a gearbox. You lose an engine, you lose transmission and unfortunately, you are for nothing in that, and you are penalized. But if we start opening the door to this kind of thing, it will be endless. I think the stewards took the right decision unfortunately for Carlos.”


AlphaTauri boss, Franz Tost, echoed similar sentiments, pointing to the correct interpretation of regulations. “It was very unfortunate for Carlos but the FIA made the correct interpretation of the regulation and therefore they penalized him. And it was force majeure. On the other hand, I must say, the main problem came up because the track maybe was not inspected in the way it should be… You could also say he couldn’t do anything. This tire was just coming from the collision, which was before, in the first corner. It was unfortunate, but FIA came up with the correct decision.”

Meanwhile, Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner succinctly concurred, “Not a lot to add here. I agree with my two colleagues.”

READ MORE: After Carlos Sainz’s Crushing Blow, Charles Leclerc Issues 2-Word Defeated Response in Civil War for Bragging Rights

The Spaniard met a similar fate during the FP2 in Abu Dhabi when he crashed into the barriers, leaving Ferrari in a state of peril considering they are so close in the constructor battle with Mercedes.

Ferrari Team Boss Fred Vasseur highlights a troubling outcome for Carlos Sainz in Abu Dhabi

During FP2 ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Sainz’s SF-23 went into the barriers, leaving the car in need of extensive repairs. However, the potential financial fallout of rebuilding the car threw a daunting challenge at the Scuderia.

Team Principal Fred Vasseur revealed a looming possibility that could see Sainz on the sidelines for the season finale. The $135 million cost cap, a restriction that has forced teams to tighten their financial belts, presented a significant hurdle. Vasseur expressed caution, stating, “If they had serious damage to Carlos Sainz’s car again, then they would risk not fielding Sainz for the race because the costs were already tight with the cost cap.



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The implications are profound. If Sainz were to sit out, Ferrari would be handicapped with only one car on the grid. There are just four points separating Mercedes and Ferrari in the Constructors’ Championship battle for P2. And the ramifications of such a decision could echo far beyond the glittering lights of Abu Dhabi.


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Watch This Story | Is Carlos Sainz Looking to Move away from Ferrari?

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Written by

Veerendra Vikram Singh


One take at a time

I come from a family that lives and breathes football, but I never quite fit that mold. Ever since I was a kid, something about motorsport drew me in and helped me develop a lifelong love for racing. The sight of stock cars zipping past close to 200 miles an hour bumper to bumper just makes you appreciate the sport in a different way.
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Edited by

Akash Pandhare