Carlos Sainz Jr, Ferrari, Circuit of the Americas, 2022

Sainz: Russell deserved his penalty for ‘mistake top drivers don’t normally make’

2022 United States Grand Prix

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Carlos Sainz Jnr says the stewards were right to penalise George Russell for the collision between the pair which put the Ferrari driver out of the United States Grand Prix.

The two drivers made contact at the first corner after Sainz made a slow start from pole position. Russell, who started fourth, appeared on his inside and the two drivers made contact.

Sainz was spun to the inside of the track and later retired in the pits with radiator damage. “I didn’t get the best of starts,” he explained. “I think Max got a really good one because mine compared to the Mercs wasn’t too bad.

“We’ve seen him many, many years here P2 get a better start than P1 for a reason that we don’t understand yet. And then, yeah, I was in the middle of a fight with Max and suddenly came someone that wasn’t even in that fight and bumped into me. So I don’t think it needs too much explanation and images.”

Russell was swiftly given a five-second time penalty for the collision. “For sure a penalty was deserved,” said Sainz. “If he deserves five, 10 or a stop-go I’m not going to evaluate.”

“I think you’ve never seen this kind of incident in the top three positions because normally in the top four drivers don’t do these kind of mistakes,” he added.

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2022 United States Grand Prix

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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...
RJ O'Connell
Motorsport has been a lifelong interest for RJ, both virtual and ‘in the carbon’, since childhood. RJ picked up motorsports writing as a hobby...

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14 comments on “Sainz: Russell deserved his penalty for ‘mistake top drivers don’t normally make’”

  1. Oh really? That’s coming from a guy who spun on his own at least two times this season.

  2. Sainz move was very reminiscent of his move in Dutch GP, where he made a slight contact with Hamilton. I think Sainz should reconsider his approach at the starts and avoid such erratic changes in directions in future.

  3. petebaldwin (@)
    23rd October 2022, 22:17

    True. It was a mistake you wouldn’t expect from a top driver. Unfortunately, losing the lead before the 1st corner was something many of were expecting from your Carlos….

    1. Harsh (even if at this track the 2nd on the gird tends to be better off than pole), but admittedly, I also wondered how Sainz would fail to take the opportunity this time @petebaldwin

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        23rd October 2022, 23:21

        Maybe harsh but as you say, we all thought “how are you going to screw it up this time” and it only took seconds for that to happen. The main point though is that he can have a dig at Russell and question whether he’s a “top driver” or not but he’s done absolutely nothing this year to show that he’s more than a Perez or a Bottas.

        1. But that isnt a surprise now is it? He was brought into Ferrari as Massa, Barrichello, etc.. so he is a Perez, Bottas, Webber, etc.

    2. sainz is fastly become Carlos DeAngelis/Alboreto.

  4. Sainz acted like they were already on lap 10, and not just starting. Very weird line there.

    Ferrari should start doubting him after this season. He just doesn’t have what it takes.
    Another season like this and they should start looking for somebody else.

    1. He seems a perfect Bottas, Perez, Irvine, Webber, Berger, Barrichello, Massa, etc to me. Exactly what he was hired for.

  5. You losing the lead at the start is the whole cause of that, and you paid for it badly. 2nd in the constructors is not entirely safe for you yet. Russell’s fault, but you should have gotten a better launch to avoid everything.

  6. How would Sanz know? He’s far from being a top driver himself…

    He’s up there with Stroll and Latifi for bone headed stupidity at the best of times.

  7. SAI choked the start and was completely unhinged in the first corner. He should have tucked in behind VER and maintained 2nd which is the best he could have hoped for. Tough penalty call on the first turn of a race. Thought nothing was ever called on the first turn.

  8. Harsh. But he’s right.

  9. Sainz is not the best driver but in this situation he is right. Stupid collision caused by Russell, something he is doing to often and is giving him a bad reputation.

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