Carlos Sainz Jnr, McLaren, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2019

Sainz: Albon and Toro Rosso urged stewards to give us penalty

2019 Canadian Grand Prix

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Carlos Sainz Jnr says the Toro Rosso team urged the stewards to penalise him for his incident with Alexander Albon in qualifying, despite admitting their driver’s session was not significantly compromised.

The stewards gave Sainz a three-place grid penalty for impeding Albon during Q1. Sainz did not deny holding Albon up, but pointed out Toro Rosso “were pushing flat-out for me to get a penalty” despite playing down the incident when they spoke to the media.

“What happened with Alex is that I went past him on my quick lap into the last chicane and he started the lap very close to me,” Sainz explained. “So I basically had no time to get out of his way into turn one. So I did unfortunately impede him a bit.

“The thing is – let’s see how I can say this without sounding too polemic – it was his Q1 run one, he had a second attempt in Q1 run two, he went through to Q2. After the qualifying I heard him saying in the media that he was not affected by the incident and that he was OK with it.

“But then when he got to the stewards his team and he were pushing flat-out for me to get a penalty. So not the best way to end a positive day for the team. But we are going to move on from it and make sure it doesn’t happen again and make sure we don’t do the same next time.”

Sainz believes his penalty was too harsh for the infringement. “It was an incident that I apologised for and the whole team apologises to Alex for impeding him in a not-so-relevant lap,” he said. “But it ended up costing us three places for tomorrow and it didn’t cost him much.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 6 comments on “Sainz: Albon and Toro Rosso urged stewards to give us penalty”

    1. Wow !!
      Midfield is so competitive even at the stewards room.

      1. @webtel, true, and it is the case that ultimately Sainz Jr did impede Albon, and the defence of “well, he got through anyway” is one that can only really be invoked retrospectively.

        That said, I wonder if some might suspect that there is an element of Toro Rosso also helping out their parent team by pushing so hard for a penalty, given that imposing a penalty moves Verstappen further up the grid.

        1. and the defence of “well, he got through anyway” is one that can only really be invoked retrospectively.

          Agreed. Punishment should be for the action, not the result. He very heavily messed up Albon’s lap, and therefore got a penalty. Like he was in his way all the way through turns 1 and 2, also he knew Albon was coming so I think could’ve got out of the way very easily, maybe not slowed down so much after finishing his lap. No excuses for Sainz tbh.

    2. Yeah, I have some sympathy for Sainz, must be disappointing to get the penalty, but really, the easy way to avoid that is too take a bit more care not to impede; F1 has never been a gentleman’s sport, and teams will always argue a penalty when it’s in their favour, so I don’t really understand his apparent surprise at it. He might as well be sad that the stewards deemed he actually did impede.

    3. Adam (@rocketpanda)
      9th June 2019, 12:18

      Don’t see why he is complaining. The fact Albon still got through isn’t relevant – the fact he blocked him is. He had enough space in those corners to give him room but he didn’t, so the penalty is justified without taking into account he was ahead of the Toro Rossos and they’d prefer he wasn’t. If it were the other way around McLaren would lobby for a penalty too.

    4. Pipe down Carlos.

    Comments are closed.