Carlos Sainz Jnr, Ferrari, Miami International Autodrome, 2022

Sainz wants answers from FIA over Miami crash which “shouldn’t have hurt”

2022 Spanish Grand Prix

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Carlos Sainz Jnr says his practice crash in Miami left him with a “knot” in his neck which he has been training to fix ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix.

The Ferrari driver crashed when approaching the tight chicane of turns 14-15 in second practice, spinning into a solid barrier and causing heavy damage to his car. The following day, Esteban Ocon suffered an almost identical spin, crashing with a registered impact of 51G into the wall and taking him out of qualifying that afternoon. Both drivers later said they did not feel at 100-percent physical condition during the Miami Grand Prix.

Speaking ahead of his home grand prix in Barcelona, Sainz admitted he had been training his neck for the race weekend after suffering from the physical after-effects of his accident.

“This last week I’ve been training back at home,” Sainz said. “I’ve been trying to recover from the slight knot that I have in my neck from the accident in Miami to arrive here fully prepared.

“The knot should be done. I mean, you never know until you put 5G on it like I’m planning to do tomorrow. I feel recovered, but you never know until you jump into a Formula 1 car. I expect it to be fine. I’ve been training it and it’s been all good.”

Despite his accident on Friday, no changes were made to the barriers at the corner, and Ocon’s impact on Saturday was comparable to Sainz’s. The Ferrari driver says he expressed his unease to the FIA about the lack of an impact-absorbing TecPro barrier after his accident and had expected them to act after raising his concerns.

“I think it was pretty clear,” Sainz said. “I was pretty vocal about it on Friday night. ‘Look, I crashed. I was at a very low speed and it hurt. It shouldn’t have hurt compared to other crashes I had in my career. Let’s do something in this corner.’

“The response was ‘it was a very freaky crash. It shouldn’t happen again’. And it happened.

“As far as I’m concerned, there was TecPro available to be put there and nothing happened. So we need a proper explanation to know exactly what’s the reason for not putting TecPro there to protect Esteban.

“At the end we left that weekend with two drivers with a sore neck and nearly two broken chassis for a very slow crash. So there’s definitely something to review.”

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Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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17 comments on “Sainz wants answers from FIA over Miami crash which “shouldn’t have hurt””

  1. He wasn’t wearing an earring so the FIA didn’t think it was a serious issue.

  2. The drivers deserve to have safety measures when and where possible. F1 cannot afford to keep learning from mistakes.

    1. You ALWAYS have to learn from mistakes. You ALOS avoid mistakes by doing proper risk management. But some people mistakenly believe that you can eliminate all risks in motor racing. Impossible. Sainz obviously wants to deflect the real issue here.

  3. It will be difficult for FIA to prevent the psychological ‘hurt’; even TechPro or SAFER barriers wouldn’t help ;)

  4. Money. Now shut up and drive.

    1. @darryn Wrong attitude.

  5. Since that awful circuit with that even more horrid mickey mouse section is going to unfortunately still be around next year I do think that barrier needs something placed in-front of it.

    The attitude that drivers ‘Just shouldn’t crash’ or should ‘shut up & drive & stop if they don’t feel safe’ is the attitude that was around not just prior to Imola 1994 but also during the late 60s/70s when drivers were pushing for safety improvements. Jackie Stewart was widely mocked by fans & the media for having the audacity to say circuits needed to be made safer & the same is still happening today going by some of the pathetic comments from some ‘fans’ whenever drivers raise valid safety concerns.

    We know hitting concrete walls does the most damage even at low speeds. We have known this for years/decades which is why various types of barriers have been developed over the years to cover the concrete walls.

    At that awful mickey mouse bit of road maybe a tire or tecpro wall isn’t possible for reasons of space as it’s already super narrow. However there is little reason to not have a safer wall there as if those things can help on ovals with cars doing 200mph+ then they should surely provide additional protection at less than 50mph to make the mickey mouse section safer.

    But like periods in the past I fear that money is been put above safety with some of these horrible car park circuits. Not since the 70s have I heard drivers condemn a circuit as been as unsafe as they did Jeddah & again just like the 70s i’ve not heard drivers mocked & dismissed for it as they were when raising concerns about Jeddah.

    I just hope that these car park circuits don’t end up giving us the most unwelcomed wakeup call to remind us that any potential safety concerns should be taken seriously & improvements made where possible.

    1. @roger-ayles perhaps it is underlined by the fact that, not that long ago, we had an article here talking about how the sport seems to be taking the attitude that the cars have now become safe enough for them to slacken off on circuit safety requirements in favour of spectacle.

      It’s as if the sport is forgetting why it introduced those measures to begin with – as with quite a few other institutions, once a certain amount of time has passed since a previous accident, those without the first hand experience of the disastrous consequences start feeling that they can get away with taking shortcuts or start ignoring safety measures – until eventually something does go badly wrong.

  6. You simply cannot ‘just’ put extra material on a homologated race track, especially something like Tecpro that could have ill effects of its own, including but not limited to inducing rotational momentum into a crashing car and bouncing it back towards the track.

    To me, this area as well as the one that caught out Mick Schumacher in Jeddah, is a prime candidate for a SAFER barrier, which should be considered in the run-up to next year’s race.

    1. I agree that in this case a SAFER barrier would be probably be better than Tecpro. But… Does F1 use SAFER barriers? I don’t remember seeing them at any of their circuits. If that’s correct, I wonder if its because they’ve been analysed and failed to achieve approval for use, or if there’s a financial element to it. Either way, it’d definitely be wrong to dismiss them, as I think SAFER is better than Tecpro at shallow impact angles.

      1. Yes, F1 do use SAFER barriers, the one that comes to mind is on the outside of T14 in Baku.

        1. They were also used on parts of Zandvoort with the new layout @proesterchen. So yeah, it’s clear that F1 uses them where they make sense / are needed.

          So why not here, right.

          1. Because FIA thinks street circuits or fake street circuits don’t need to be as a safe as real tracks. Makes you wonder why all the new venues are street circuits or fake street circuits though.

      2. According to Wikipedia: Interlagos turn 14, Baku 13 and 19, Canada 5, and Zandvoort 14.

  7. Didn’t you hear Carlos? They did a simulation and decided you were wrong

  8. Ferrari wants answers from Saint over Miami crash which “shouldn’t have happened”

    1. Sainz* bad autocorrect

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