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Carlos Sainz

Sainz accuses F1 drivers of deliberately impeding after Q1 exit

Carlos Sainz has suggested that drivers are deliberately impeding rival drivers through corners they know will not result in a grid penalty.

Sainz Abu Dhabi
To news overview © XPBimages

Carlos Sainz has claimed that Formula 1 drivers are deliberately impeding their rivals through certain corners that will not result in penalties.

Sainz endured a difficult qualifying session in Abu Dhabi as he failed to advance out of the opening segment, ending the session in 16th.

His difficult day followed another incident during Friday practice as he crashed out of the FP2 session minutes into the outing.

An issue during Q1 kept Sainz in the garage longer than scheduled and shuffled him to the back of the queue as drivers prepared for their final laps.

The Spaniard then stated over the team radio that he was held up by traffic and suggested that he was impeded on purpose.

On his final fast lap in Q3, Alpine's Pierre Gasly was a handful of seconds ahead of Sainz as they rounded the high-speed Turn 3, where Sainz suffered his heavy crash on Friday.

Speaking to media including RacingNews365, Sainz argued that the drivers are deploying tactics through flat-out corners knowing that it will impact a following car.

"Between us drivers, we know," he said.

"We know that if you do a corner one or two seconds in front, you're going to make them lose a tenth or two in the corner.

"I see people as the weekends have gone by when it's tight in Q1 or Q2 giving a bit of dirty air on purpose in some corners, maybe to make the other [driver] lose some time in corners which we don't consider impeding because it's not like you need to lift.

"But you know you're giving him dirty air and you know you're giving him a bad run in that corner.

"Everybody is doing it. If you put yourself in a bad track position, you're going to suffer more."

F1 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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