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Martin Brundle

Brundle calls for change in F1 regulations after Sainz's disaster weekend

The ex-Formula 1 driver turned Sky Sports pundit feels the FIA stewards should be able to "turn a blind eye" when circumstances are out of the driver and teams control.

Sainz Las Vegas
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Martin Brundle has suggested a rule change in Formula 1, after Carlos Sainz was handed a grid penalty after his drain strike in Las Vegas practice.

The Ferrari driver ran over a loose water valve cover during the opening minutes of FP1, which inflicted severe damage on his SF-23.

The Survival Cell, Internal Combustion Engine, Energy Store and Control Electronics were all damaged beyond repair.

Ferrari requested dispensation as the changed parts were a result of a fault with the track, however the stewards outlined that there is nothing written in the regulations to allow the relevant components to be changed without a penalty.

"The Ferraris looked on the pace throughout, and, just as in Monza, their low-downforce high top-speed aero package was working well," Brundle wrote in his Sky Sports column.

"Carlos Sainz's car had been wrecked by the errant access cover in first practice in a pretty scary way, and he needed many new parts including a battery pack which would hand him a 10-place grid penalty.

"He was controlled but clearly beyond angry, as were his team who thought the penalty unfair in the circumstances. They also wanted to know who was going to pay for the damage."

Brundle: Stewards should be able to turn a 'blind eye'

Brundle believes there needs to be a solution to enable stewards to give dispensation to drivers, when matters are clearly out of their hands.

"There are hundreds of pages of rules in the International Sporting Code and the specific F1 Sporting and Technical regulations," wrote Brundle.

"But nothing which can allow the Stewards to legally turn a blind eye if something just doesn't seem fair.

"It's perilous to write a clause and create a precedent where the Stewards can unilaterally ignore regulations in the name of common sense and fairness in force majeure situations, even if every team and others key bodies agree.

"But we really must add some wording, with due checks and balances, which can be applied without fear of ensuing legal actions, or teams using it to advantage in other scenarios."

F1 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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