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Carlos Sainz

F1 driver Sainz investigated by FIA stewards during Dakar Rally

Carlos Sainz was the subject of an investigation by the FIA stewards during the 2023 Dakar rally, which his father Carlos Sainz Sr is competing in.

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To news overview © Marcelo Maragni / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 driver Carlos Sainz was investigated by the stewards during the Dakar Rally after being seen assisting his father, Carlos Sainz Sr, who is competing.

Sainz Sr is a four-time Dakar winner, with 2023 being his 17th time competing in the iconic rally event. During the third stage he had to stop to make repairs to the suspension of his Audi RS Q E-Tron E2.

His son, Ferrari F1 driver Sainz Jr, was seen observing the repairs before shutting the door once Sainz Sr and his co-driver Lucas Cruz got back into the car.

The action caught the eye of FIA Sporting Delegates, who later reported it to the stewards as a breach of the regulations.

The regulation in question states that no helping hand from the team is allowed within a kilometre of the car, except for some certain exceptions.

Even though Audi and Sainz Sr pleaded that Sainz Jr was not a member of the team, the stewards noted that they were concerned about how the scenario looked outside of the competition.

“The stewards note that the behaviour of all members of the motorsport community should not raise any doubts. Very well-known people in motorsport set an example for everyone else.

“It should be noted that Dakar 2023 is a round of the FIA World [Cross Country] Championship. Honest pursuit of the result, adherence to sports principles is especially important. And it is important to follow not only written rules. It is also important to avoid situations that may raise doubts.

“For the relationship between father and son would be very difficult to see as completely unrelated.”

Video of the incident can be seen below.

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