In the round-up: Carlos Sainz Jnr admits he should be higher than fifth on the grid for today’s Interlagos sprint race.
In briefCharles Leclerc went out on intermediates in the other Ferrari.
“We tried to be up in the queue first but we lost quite a bit of time behind Charles and we lost a lot of time to Kevin,” said Sainz. “This meant that he had probably a drier track than us at that point.
“I tried to push a lot and probably over-pushed, did a couple of big mistakes, big moments that probably cost me P2 or P3.
“But P1 today for Kevin I think he deserves it, I’m a big fan of him and I’m happy for him.”
Szafnauer wants rethink over Gasly’s penalty points
Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer says it would be unfair if Pierre Gasly is forced to miss a race after he joins the team next year due to penalty points largely accumulated at his current team, AlphaTauri.
Gasly currently has 10 penalty points on his superlicence, leaving him two away from an automatic one-race ban, with no points due to be deducted until next year’s Monaco Grand Prix.
“It’s unfortunate that he got those points with a different team,” Szafnauer told Sky. “If he does happen to cross the threshold of having too many and has to miss a race with us, I’m not sure that’s what the rule was intended to do, to punish a different team. But it is what it is, unless we can get it changed.”
Szafnauer said the rule makers should reflect on whether the penalty points system is “really punishing the driver or the team?” He suggested Gasly may have accrued some of his points for failing to yield positions to other drivers when his team should have advised him to do so.
“I’m sure there are considerations this year to give places back where perhaps the team said ‘don’t’ and you get penalty points and some other things,” said Szafnauer. “I think we have to re-look at it and make sure that it’s equitable.”
Qualifying disappointment for Alfa Romeo
Alfa Romeo were disappointed to see both their drivers drop out in Q1 after Valtteri Bottas ran in the top 10 in practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix.
“When you have pace in practice, as we did today, going out with two cars in Q1 is definitely not the result you expect,” said team principal Frederic Vasseur. “Unfortunately, we didn’t make the most of the changing conditions and we ended up paying the price for it.”
Bottas said they got their strategy wrong in Q1. “We made the call to go with intermediate tyres when pitting and that turned out to be the wrong choice. On my in-lap, I saw a Williams struggling and decided to stay on the inters. We realised softs were the best option and pitted again, but two laps were not enough to bring these tyres [up] to temperature.”
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