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Frederic Vasseur

Ferrari critical of FIA response to Sainz drain strike

Ferrari boss Frederic Vasseur has explained his displeasure at Carlos Sainz's incident and the FIA's initial response to the water valve cover strike.

Vasseur Silverstone
To news overview © XPBimages

Frederic Vasseur is unhappy with the time it took to red-flag Las Vegas Grand Prix practice following Carlos Sainz's drain strike.

The opening practice session of the weekend was abandoned after just nine minutes of on-track action after Sainz's Ferrari struck a dislodged water valve cover on the Strip after the concrete frame failed due to the suction forces of the cars.

The incident was initially covered by a yellow flag before the red flags were deployed, with the abandonment coming moments later as track inspections were carried out. This led to the two-and-a-half hour delay to the second session as repairs were carried out.

After the incidents, the remainder of the weekend proceeded smoothly with no further problems, but Vasseur was not impressed with the delay.

Vasseur critical of FIA response

"We'll have time to discuss next week about this," Vasseur told media including RacingNews365.

"It was not a very fair decision due to the circumstances.

"It was very hard for Carlos and very hard for the team, and we have to discuss about the circumstances of the incident, because it is just not about the cover coming out.

"It is because we had one minute between the yellow flag and the red flag, one second would be a dream.

"But they put a yellow flag out, meaning they saw something on track, and it took one minute to put the red flag out."

After Ferrari replaced the destroyed Energy Store on Sainz's car, it did ask the stewards to waive the 10-place grid penalty as it was Sainz's third of two allowed in the season.

Citing the grounds of force majeure, Ferrari's bid was turned down, as the Sporting Regulations contain no mechanism to do so.

"It is not an easy [situation]," Vasseur explained about the potential for force majeure being added to the rule book.

"To give a set of tyres or an engine is a gain of performance, but there is no performance in the battery."

F1 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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