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Carlos Sainz

Sainz set for Las Vegas grid drop after FP1 damage

Carlos Sainz sustained damage during the first free practice session in Las Vegas due to a loose manhole cover, and it now appears he will receive a grid drop as a result.

Sainz Las Vegas
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Carlos Sainz is set to receive a heavy grid drop for the Las Vegas Grand Prix after Ferrari was forced to change parts following the opening free practice session.

Sainz drove across a loose manhole cover in the opening minutes of the session which inflicted severe damage on the Ferrari car.

The session was subsequently abandoned as a track inspection was carried out, with Alpine's Esteban Ocon also receiving damage.

After the Survival Cell, Internal Combustion Engine, Energy Store and Control Electronics were damaged beyond repair, Ferrari requested dispensation as the changed parts were a result of a fault with the track.

Ferrari wished to replace the parts with fresh components from outside the pool of the penalty-free quota.

However, the FIA has outlined that there is nothing written in the regulations to allow the relevant components to be changed without being penalised.

A statement read: “Having heard from the Team Representative, the Director FIA Single Seater Department, having viewed video evidence and examined the Team’s declaration sheet, the Stewards, determine that notwithstanding the fact that the damage was caused by highly unusual external circumstances, Article 2.1 of the Formula 1 Sporting Regulations obliges all officials, including the Stewards, to apply the regulations as they are written.

“Accordingly, the mandatory penalty specified under Article 28.3 of the Sporting Regulations must be applied.”

The Stewards added that if they had the authority to implement different measures in “mitigating, unusual and unfortunate circumstances”, they would have done so.

Sainz will now likely start the Las Vegas Grand Prix from the back of the field.

F1's regulations state that the first time an additional element is used, a driver gets a 10-place grid penalty, with the second time being a five-place grid drop.

The Spaniard has used a third Energy Store of the two allowed, and is therefore set to take the 10 place penalty.

F1 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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