Ferrari boss Frederic Vasseur revealed he will hold private discussions with Las Vegas Grand Prix stakeholders regarding pursuing a potential compensation following Carlos Sainz’s FP1 incident.
That means, Vasseur will be having discussions with Liberty Media and Formula One Management regarding any potential compensation after a rogue drain cover destroyed Sainz’s SF-23 in FP1, the Spaniard basically requiring a new car to be built from scratch.
Sainz was slapped with a ten-place grid penalty after qualifying second for the Grand Prix, as the stewards did not find a leeway in the regulations to treat his situation as Force Majeure, something that did not go down well with Ferrari, their driver, or even the fans.
Speaking to the media after the race Charles Leclerc finished second and Sainz finished sixth, Vasseur was asked if he would seek compensation, something Haas did in 2017 after a similar incident with their then-driver Romain Grosjean in Malaysia’s Sepang track.
“This will be a private discussion that I will have with the stakeholders of this,” the Frenchman responded when asked about a potential claim for compensation.
He pointed out that the incident has put Ferrari in a tough situation with spending under the budget cap, pointing out: “There is no provision into the budget or cost cap, for excluding the crashes.
“For sure you have a lot of extra costs. The loom was damaged, the gearbox was damaged, the battery was damaged, the engine is dead.
“We have a lot of consequences on the financial side, on the sporting side, and even on the stock of spare parts, and on the budget side for sure it’s not an easy one,” he insisted.
When pressed whether the Sainz incident, a precedent in F1, will be the driver of change in the regulations in anticipation of future similar situations, he said: “There will be discussion. The decision, it’s another thing.”
The way the marshals handled the incident needs discussion as well
Vasseur revealed the whole incident could’ve been avoided, as the drain cover was dislodged before Sainz drove over it, with a Yellow flag waved as a consequence.
He believes a Red flag should’ve been waved on the spot, which did not happen, and which could’ve spared Sainz the pain.
“We’d have to discuss about the circumstances of the incident also,” he declared. “Because it’s not just about the cover coming out, it’s also for me that we had one minute between the yellow flag and the red flag.
“It means that when they put the yellow flag that they saw something on track. And they took one minute before they put the red flag. I think it’s too much.
“The main issue for me on this case is that when you put the first yellow flag it means that you saw something, you don’t put the yellow flag by anticipation.
“It means that the guy who put the yellow flag, and put the yellow flag also on my board, which is coming from the race control, it means that they saw something, and then they took one minute before they put the red flag, when it’s the straight line, and you have a metallic part, and you are at 340 kph,” he explained.
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(Reporting by Agnes Carlier, Writing by Jad Mallak)