Fred Vasseur, Ferrari Formula 1 boss, claims that the team paid a “mega price” for Carlos Sainz incident at Las Vegas. Unfortunate event caused 10-place grid penalty to the driver in which he has no role.
Sainz stopped his Ferrari SF-23 on the circuit following manhole cover blasting against his car. The car suffered huge losses in the opening of the first practice session.
The team had to call in spare chassis along with power unit and gear box replacement. Unfortunate event cost huge loss for the team and the Spaniard.
Vasseur contested stewards decision claiming it a case of force majeure. But to no avail, stewards did not changed their decision.
“Sure, I went there, and I discussed with them,” he shared about his efforts to get a relief. “It’s a strange feeling for us, because first, I don’t think that we did something wrong.
“We have to pay a mega price for this. And on the top, you have the penalty when you know that we are fighting for the championship. 10 places is a huge hit.
“OK, we that we have to try to avoid thinking about it, to do the job that we can come back. We have a good pace.
“We have to be focused on the quali. And then to do a good race. We don’t have time to discuss this.”
He commented on the idea of other teams supporting Ferrari stance. He said: “I don’t think that it could be a decision from the teams, to say that we allow them to do this or that. Now tomorrow if someone pushed in the other direction, it’s another story.”
Esteban Ocon’s damaged car had to replace the chassis. Alpine team had no problems dealing with the regulations that restricts replacement in a day.
“This was a good joke as well,” said Vasseur. “You are not allowed to change your chassis during the day. But they told us you past midnight, it means that it’s not the same day anymore!”
Vasseur claim the team got lucky because of FP2 delay. It provided the team to rebuild as 24 hr had passed. The team completed the task in 2.5 hour delay time.
“We are not trying to have a record on this,” he said. “But for sure it was a big one, because we had to change the chassis, engine, battery, gearbox, to build up a new one. It was a good job from the mechanics.”
On a more positive note, Charles Leclerc topped the FP2 session for Ferrari, with Sainz in second.
“We know that it’s a bit like Monaco or Baku, it’s a long weekend, and we have to build up the performance over the weekend,” said Vasseur. “It’s not just matter to be quick in P1, but it’s better to be quick in P1.
“We know that it will be about graining, but so far, so good. The track will improve much more than a normal track, it means that you have to anticipate what will be the status track for Saturday.”Vasseur: Sainz F1 grid penalty after Vegas incident a “huge hit” for Ferrari