Published On: Fri, Nov 17th, 2023
Sports | 2,187 views

Carlos Sainz handed controversial Las Vegas GP penalty as stewards reject Ferrari request | F1 | Sport

Carlos Sainz has been handed a ten-place grid penalty for the Las Vegas Grand Prix. The Ferrari driver was forced to make changes to four different components after running over a drain cover valve during FP1 on Friday.

Sainz’s FP1 session got off to the worst possible start on Friday. He ran over a loose drain cover valve which was sucked up into the underbody of his SF-23, creating serious damage.

The 29-year-old was forced to immediately pull over to the side of the track, bringing out the red flag which would never be withdrawn. The session went on to end with just nine minutes of green flag running in the bank.

This incident forced the Ferrari mechanics to change multiple parts of his Ferrari car with a new survival cell, internal combustion engine, energy store and control electronics all fitted to his SF-23.

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Ferrari had requested special treatment in relation to the technical regulations, but this was reluctantly denied by the FIA. Despite this, they acknowledge that “the damage was caused by highly unusual external circumstances”.

The stewards went on to state: “The Stewards not that if they had the authority to grant a derogation in what they consider in this case to be mitigating, unusual and unfortunate circumstances, they would have done so, however, the regulations do not allow such action.”

The Spaniard was handed a ten-place grid drop for the engine change, but at least he managed to avoid compromised running in FP2. A sensational effort from the Ferrari engineers ensured that his car was fit to feature from the get-go in the second session of the weekend.

Discussing the impact of the incident after FP1, team principal Frederic Vasseur said: “The situation is that we damaged completely the monocoque, the engine, the battery and I think it’s just unacceptable.”

When asked about the wider impact of the Las Vegas event, he hit back: “Yeah guys I’m not sure that it’s the topic for me today… We had a very tough FP1. It will cost us a fortune.

“We f***ed up the session for Carlos. We won’t be part of FP2 for sure…. We have to change the chassis out from the car, to set up the car. Okay, the show is the show and everything is going well, but I think it’s just unacceptable for F1 today.”

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