Alpine furious with ‘ridiculous’ Sainz and Ferrari: Should be banned

Carlos Sainz could be facing a penalty for the 2023 Canadian Grand Prix

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Pierre Gasly and Alpine raged at Ferrari and called for a race ban for Carlos Sainz after he dumped Gasly out of Q1 at the 2023 Canadian Grand Prix.

In a chaotic qualifying session in very changeable weather conditions, Gasly was going for his final lap of Q1 on a drying track, but Sainz blocked him at the final corner forcing the Alpine off the track and scuppering any chance of a quicker time.

That meant Gasly couldn’t improve in contrast to everyone around him, and finished 17th while Sainz went on to qualify eighth.

“He should be banned for such a thing, I’m coming at 300 [kph], like what the f*** do they think!” Gasly said over team radio.

Team principal Otmar Szafnauer was similarly incensed, and told Sky Sports after Q1: “It’s ridiculous in a word. It’s terrible, I think Pierre would’ve been P6 and now he’s out in Q1.”

And it was nearly deja vu for Szafnauer in Q2 when the other Alpine of Esteban Ocon, who eventually qualified sixth, was impeded by Lance Stroll despite the Canadian protesting he was going as fast as he could.

After Alpine finally got their season on the right track with three consecutive double-points finishes including a famous Monaco podium for Ocon, Gasly will have his work cut out in the grand prix to keep that streak going.

Sainz is under investigation by the stewards for the move, but even though he’ll likely be slapped with a penalty, that won’t help Gasly.

Sainz’s nightmare weekend continues

Even before qualifying, Sainz had suffered a torrid Saturday morning after he hit the wall in FP3.

Immediately after posting the second-fastest time of the session he lost control at turn one and crunched the barriers with the front of his SF-23, bringing out the red flag and ending his morning’s work.

That was after he’d earned the ire of Alex Albon for allegedly impeding the Williams driver, but the stewards decided no penalty was needed.

Despite fears for the gearbox, Ferrari mechanics managed a lightning rebuild in less than three hours in time for qualifying, but they might as well have not bothered.

He held up Yuki Tsunoda and Lando Norris as well as Gasly at the end of Q1 as he dawdled before the final corner, sat bang in the middle of the track seemingly oblivious that there was a qualifying session going on around him.

And he repeated that in Q2, the same session that Charles Leclerc was eliminated early in to round out a difficult Saturday for Ferrari.

Adam Dickinson
Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for Total-Motorsport.com since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, and previously worked for Last-Lap.co.uk and FeederSeries.net in motorsport and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
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