Carlos Sainz feels Formula 1 has lost respect between drivers at the end of qualifying sessions after there was nearly a collision at the conclusion of Q1 of the 2023 British Grand Prix.
After a red flag with a few minutes to go on a rapidly drying track, 19 drivers headed onto track trying to get laps in, and Sainz was jumped several times in the queue as he nearly missed out on a final flying lap.
“It’s racing,” Sainz told select members of the press, including Total-Motorsport.com, when asked by the media if the FIA should clamp down on end-of-qualifying antics.
“I think we are respecting it less and less, especially in mixed conditions, especially when the flag is coming and you have to put a lap in.
“The problem is people behind us started to overtake us, which meant if you give a four second gap between all the cars, it meant that I was not going to get a lap in.
“And because the gentleman agreement doesn’t exist anymore and it’s been completely forgotten to do something to stop.”
Lewis Hamilton dived up the inside of Esteban Ocon at the last minute of qualifying and the pair nearly collided while Sainz watched on behind.
However, all three got across the line in time and were able to progress to Q2 while Sergio Perez failed to make the cut after he led the field out of the pit lane.
Ferrari have edge over McLaren
McLaren were the shock success story at Silverstone securing second and third, ahead of the Ferrari duo led by Charles Leclerc.
Lando Norris even briefly went top of the timesheets before he was deposed by Max Verstappen – Sainz was Norris‘ McLaren teammate when the Brit started his F1 career in 2019.
However, Sainz remained positive looking ahead to the race and said he expected McLaren to suffer similar weaknesses to Ferrari.
“I think we are in a good position to get in the podium tomorrow,” Sainz added. “Over one lap they definitely looked very quick today and it’s amazing the progress that they’ve made recently.
“Now it’s time to see how the race pace is, normally they struggle with deg like we do, the same kind of issues.
“If they have the same deg problems, I think we should have a bit better race pace and then it will be how much pressure the Mercedes put us under like last year.”