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Las Vegas Grand Prix 2023

Stoddie Straight: 'Rubbish' FIA decision as Red Bull decision looms ever closer

What will be Red Bull's driver line-up in the coming years? Paul Stoddart has an idea and is very outspoken on the FIA's actions during the Las Vegas Grand Prix.

Perez Verstappen Belgium
To news overview © XPBimages

What a spectacle we saw in Las Vegas for which the organization should be commended.

Yes, there was that controversy over the drain cover, but that was nothing we have never seen before. But nobody is surprised anymore when it's Ferrari having that kind of bad luck, but I have to say Carlos Sainz handled it terribly professionally and calmly.

This could have been so much worse, after all. That drain cover could have come right through the floor and we would have had a very different conversation.

It is very unfortunate, but also not something new in F1. What I did find downright revolting was that Sainz got a grid penalty for taking new engine parts as the damage he sustained.

If ever there was a case of force majeure, this was it. That they couldn't waive the penalty under the rules is rubbish. That is simply not true.

In 2005, our Minardi cars did not comply with the new regulations, so we could not formally start in Australia.

We did not participate in any free practice sessions, but on Friday night, all ten teams, the FIA and Formula 1 signed a waiver to allow us to participate anyway. There are so many cases where Bernie Ecclestone or an emissary went around with a document on his behalf.

I think they should have handled that penalty for Sainz differently. I don't know what's true about the stories that Mercedes single-handedly stopped that, but even if its true, it's not true that FIA says the regulations don't allow for that.

Red Bull duo of the future?

But enough about that drain cover.

We saw a great race, in which Sergio Perez secured second place in the World Championship. In doing so, he did exactly the one thing that was still expected of him.

He has been widely criticised and in the middle of the season, he really lacked form, but he did what he had to do.

With that second-place finish in the standings, he has quashed all the rumours about next season.

There will now be no issues with his contract for next year, and it will be interesting to see how he performs.

If he is consistently behind Max Verstappen, then he might have the chance at a contract extension, but I do think that at the end of 2024, it will be announced that Red Bull will put someone of its own making in that car.

The most likely name is Daniel Ricciardo - that has always been the plan from the moment Red Bull brought him back, but he needs to do well first.

F1 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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