Carlos Sainz has criticised Oscar Piastri‘s role in their opening lap crash at the 2023 Belgian Grand Prix as the pair both retired from the race at Spa-Francorchamps.
The Ferrari driver took evading action into Turn 1 whilst trying to overtake Lewis Hamilton, so locked up, then cut across the apex of the corner.
Unfortunately for Sainz, Piastri had already moved into the available space and the pair collided. The result was bodywork damage to Sainz, who lost substantial downforce and retired on Lap 24 whilst Piastri stopped on the opening lap.
“I was on the attack with Lewis,” Sainz said to the media. “I pretty much had to move down into Turn 1 and I made the apex cleanly.
“Unfortunately, I think Oscar was trying to make a bit of an optimistic move on me and it’s a bit of a shame. When you review the past races here and in Spa and what has been the typical lap one incident, it’s exactly that.
“Not everyone who tries the inside line into Turn 1 and tries to really make it around there normally generates an incident or a crash. At some point someone needs to back out and he is the guy who is alongside my rear-right that needs to back out of the move, not me.”
Leclerc ahead of Sainz in the championship
As a result of the clash, Sainz quickly dropped down the order with his engineer informing him the damage was worth five percent of the total downforce of his SF-23 car.
Sainz‘s failure to score points means teammate Charles Leclerc is seven points ahead of him in the F1 driver standings.
Leclerc is level with George Russell on points as Sainz is seventh in the championship going into the summer break, before F1 returns with the 2023 Dutch GP on August 25-27.