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Stewards reach verdicts after investigating Sainz and Stroll

The stewards at the Australian Grand Prix have made their decisions regarding investigations into Carlos Sainz and Lance Stroll.

The stewards at the Australian Grand Prix have handed Carlos Sainz a reprimand for blocking another driver in the first practice session at Melbourne's Albert Park. Alfa Romeo's Zhou Guanyu had been on a flying lap when he came across the Ferrari driver meandering through the final corners, ruining Zhou's lap. Sainz was summoned before the stewards as a result, who have hit him with a reprimand – his first of the season. "The stewards heard from the driver of Car 55 (Sainz), the driver of Car 24 (Zhou) and team representatives and examined video evidence," read the stewards' verdict. "[Sainz] was on his first lap of the session, having been delayed starting the session. [Zhou] was on a push lap. "[Sainz] admitted that, because of his issues getting onto the track, he was distracted and still getting adapted to the track. "Additionally, there was a problem with his radio volume, which was also noted by the stewards in their review, that prevented him from hearing calls from his team about Zhou's approach. "Sainz took evasive action as soon as he saw Zhou, but it was too late to avoid impeding him as Sainz himself acknowledged."

Stroll escapes sanction

While Sainz was given a reprimand, Aston Martin's Lance Stroll escaped scot-free after being investigated for allegedly impeding Kevin Magnussen. "Magnussen was on a second consecutive push lap," said the stewards. "[Stroll] was on a cool-down lap and was told by his team that [Magnussen] was in phase with him and not on a push lap, because they had not recognised his double push lap programme at that early point on the lap. "[Stroll] did not attempt to stay out of Magnussen's way, as he could not determine that he was actually on a push lap from the short period of time he was visible in his mirrors. "He, therefore, relied on his team's radio calls. The stewards recognise the difficulty the teams have in recognizing 'non-standard' programmes such as this in practice and choose to take no further action."

Other investigations are ongoing

There's another investigation from first practice that's yet to be finalised, with Sebastian Vettel visiting the stewards after returning to the pits on a moped. Vettel's car broke down on track and, having attended to his car, he hopped on a moped and rode it around the track to get back to the garage as he took advantage of the brief red flag stoppage. The stewards summoned him for "entering the track" outside of permitted times. Other investigations are already planned for after the second practice session, due to alleged blocking transgressions in FP2. Sainz and Stroll are both set to be looked at again, while Sergio Perez and Yuki Tsunoda have also been earmarked for an investigation.

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