Carlos Sainz has received a 10-place grid drop for this weekend’s Las Vegas Grand Prix after his team were forced to make repairs to his Ferrari after the chaotic first practice.
Sainz’s car hit a loose drain cover and suffered damage, with the practice then abandoned after just nine minutes.
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But with Sainz using his third energy store of the season, one more than is allowed by regulations, he was handed the penalty.
When second practice began, the FIA duly confirmed that Sainz had taken on a third new Energy Store for the season, exceeding the limit of two, resulting in a 10-place grid drop for the Las Vegas Grand Prix.
The race stewards said that even though Sainz’s infringement was a result of “highly unusual external circumstances”, they were obliged to hand out the sanction and reject a request from the Italian team for leniency.
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“The stewards note that if they had the authority to grant a derogation in what they consider in this case to be mitigating, unusual and unfortunate circumstances, they would have done so, however, the regulations do not allow such action,” the officials said in a statement.
The second practice began at 2.30 am local time, two and a half hours later than scheduled after course workers had to repair the drain cover and check others on the debuting track.
The Las Vegas GP has drawn criticism with the current World Champion, Max Verstappen among many other drivers who criticised the amount of commercial commitments with regards to the race. But former champion, Lewis Hamilton was against the opinion and welcomed the development of the sport in the United States as part of increasing the audience of the sport.
(with agency inputs)