The Las Vegas Grand Prix on Friday saw Carlos Sainz suffer the consequences of Formula One’s shortcomings after a loose drain cover destroyed his Ferrari and led to a 10-place grid penalty. During the first practice on Thursday, Sainz’s car collided with the metal cover, causing significant damage. Despite efforts to start the second session, it eventually began in the early hours of Friday.
The stewards acknowledged the unusual circumstances surrounding the incident but stated that regulations did not allow them to grant a waiver. The damage to Sainz’s Ferrari was extensive, resulting in the automatic triggering of a 10-place penalty due to the need for a third energy store for the season.
During the second practice, Sainz expressed his excitement at getting back on track, but the team later informed him of the penalty, dampening his spirits and changing his outlook for the weekend. Sainz voiced his frustration, stating that the situation was a clear example of areas in which the sport can be improved. He also noted the unfairness of being made to pay the price for circumstances beyond his control.
Ferrari boss Fred Vasseur described the incident as “unacceptable” and expressed concern for the safety of the team. McLaren boss Zak Brown sympathized with Ferrari and expressed support for a waiver in such force majeure situations.
Overall, the incident at the Las Vegas Grand Prix highlighted the need for improvements in Formula One, with many calling for a more supportive approach when unforeseen events occur.