Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz slams F1 after receiving Las Vegas GP grid penalty

Carlos Sainz qualified second for the 2023 Las Vegas GP, but has been handed a 10-place grid penalty


Carlos Sainz has issued a passionate critique of Formula 1 in light of receiving a 10-place grid penalty for Saturday’s 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix following the incident with a drain cover.

Sainz hit a loose drain cover during FP1 on Thursday evening at the circuit, which caused large damage to his Ferrari. The changes that the team needed to make included replacing the energy store, thus taking Sainz over the allowed allocation – sparking a grid drop for the race.

After a sensational Qualifying session where Sainz was just 0.044s behind Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc, who is on pole position, but the Spaniard will start 12th for the Las Vegas GP.

Sainz fumes at penalty for drain cover

Sainz couldn’t hide his sheer disbelief and displeasure at the penalty awarded, despite the Stewards saying that they would have opted against handing it out had the regulations provided an opportunity for them to do so.

“The thing speaks for itself,” Sainz said to the press. “There was clearly a safety issue at the track. That safety issue destroyed my car.

“My colleagues have to invest five hours in putting together a completely new car and on top of that, we get a ten place grid penalty for something that we have nothing to do with.

Carlos Sainz enters turn 14 in free practice for the 2023 Las Vegas GP | Ferrari Spa

“At the same time, [I’m] not surprised because there’s been many cases this year that I think this sport has proven that it can do things a lot better.

“I’m surprised that the governing body does not have the power to overrule in this kind of situation where it is clear that something is completely out of the team’s control, completely out of the driver’s control, but I don’t know the rules.

“I expected more from the sport in this situation. But for some reason there will be rival teams pushing for me to get a penalty which surprises me in a way.

“I’ve been in the sport for too long to understand that it is business and there’s too much money involved in the finishing position in the constructors’ for a team not to threaten to apply for a penalty for me.

“As I said not surprised and extremely disappointed, and honestly, just upset with the whole situation with the sport. I’m just upset and [I’m] in a bad mood because I just expected more from from the sport in this case.”

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