Sunday, December 3, 2023

Carlos Sainz Handed Three Place Grid-Penalty for Impeding Ahead of Canadian GP

Carlos Sainz Jr. has received a three-place grid penalty for the Canadian Grand Prix after being found guilty by the stewards of obstructing Pierre Gasly during the final stages of Q1 in the qualifying session in Montreal on Saturday afternoon.

During Gasly’s last lap in Q1, the cameras captured him being forced off the track to avoid Sainz at the final chicane. As a result, Gasly missed the opportunity to advance to Q2 and will now begin Sunday’s race from the seventeenth position.

Despite the incident, Sainz managed to make it into Q3 and secured the eighth position in qualifying. However, due to the three-place grid drop, he will now start the race from 11th place. Consequently, Oscar Piastri, Alex Albon, and Sainz’s Scuderia Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc will all move up one position as a result of his grid drop.

Following a thorough investigation conducted after the qualifying session, which involved conversations with both drivers and team representatives, as well as a comprehensive examination of the marshalling system, data, video footage, timing, and in-car video evidence, the stewards concluded that Sainz had obstructed Gasly during Q1, an official statement from the FIA read:

“The driver of Car 55 [Sainz] stated that he was surprised that the driver of Car 22 [Yuki Tsunoda] overtook him into Turn 13 and as a result he accelerated late to start his fast lap,” said the stewards’ report. The driver of Car 10 [Gasly] stated that the driver of Car 55 could have and should have gone earlier. Telemetry showed a significant speed differential between Cars 55 and 10. Although the overtaking move by Car 22 took the driver of Car 55 by surprise, it is our determination that the driver of Car 55 was predominantly to blame and [that he] unnecessarily impeded Car 10.”