Setback for Ferrari F1 as FIA Dismisses Request Involving Carlos Sainz

Published 12/09/2020, 5:00 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Sakhir Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in action during qualifying Pool via REUTERS/Tolga Bozoglu


The FIA and Ferrari shared a close bond with each other. Considering Ferrari’s rich history in the sport as a regular team since its inception, seldom have the two been at loggerheads. However, after Sainz being denied the opportunity to test, the Italians may have developed some bitter feelings.

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There has been a lot of speculation regarding the post-season Abu Dhabi testing, the event labeled as Young Driver’s Test. From the name, one could deduce that they designed it for inexperienced drivers. However, after Renault got permission for Alonso testing here, others came down with their requests.

Renault is looking forward to the return of two-time world champion, Fernando Alonso. The Spaniard has been practicing hard but will need as much time in the car as he can get. Thus, Renault had made the request to let him test at Abu Dhabi. However, this did not sit well with other constructors.

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Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – November 26, 2020 McLaren’s Carlos Sainz Jr. during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES

As Alonso is definitely no novice to the format of F1, he does not fit the description of an ‘inexperienced driver.’ However, when Ferrari earlier claimed for Carlos to test at Abu Dhabi, their proposal did not receive any response.

Having heard the decision, we have asked the FIA the permission for Carlos. We discussed it this weekend, but we have no feedback,” expressed Binotto.

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Ferrari were not the only team disagreeing with Alonso testing for Abu Dhabi. Teams like Haas and McLaren also stood against this malpractice. However, Michael Masi’s explanation of those drivers who have raced over two F1 races will only be granted permission if, “they had not competed in any F1 races during the 2020 season” resolves the dispute.

The explanation makes sense and Alonso fits the description. However, the Italians still presume that it is incorrect and to an extent, biased on FIA’s part.  The explanation rendered above did not please Binotto, and might not please the other team bosses either.

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MONZA, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 04: Scuderia Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto talks in the Team Principals Press Conference during practice for the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 04, 2020 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by XPB/Pool via Getty Images)

I think it’s quite a bit of a mess, and certainly we Ferrari, contrary to the fact that Fernando is testing in Abu Dhabi, we think it’s wrong,” highlighted Binotto.

Ferrari is suffering from one of the worst years in their history. For them, testing Carlos is very crucial, as they might not have enough time to adjust him to their car. However, Carlos was a full-time racer at McLaren and thus, it might be difficult for Ferrari to convince FIA.

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Indrasish Ganguly

395 articles

Indrasish Ganguly is an F1 author at Essentially Sports. An avid fan of the F1 championship, the Kolkata based writer admires Lewis Hamilton the most on the F1 grid. His interest in racing stems from his love for cars and speed.

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