Sainz penalty harsh after F1 ‘changed rules twice in 10 minutes for Alonso’ – Vasseur

RaceFans Round-up

Posted on

| Written by

In the round-up: Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur is frustrated his driver Carlos Sainz Jnr wasn’t allowed to speak to the stewards before his Australian Grand Prix penalty was issued.

Join RaceFans on Facebook

Don't miss anything from RaceFans - join us on Facebook here to see whenever a new article has been added:

In brief

Stewards should have listened to Sainz – Vasseur

Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur said the Australian Grand Prix stewards should have heard from Sainz before penalising his driver for his collision with Fernando Alonso on Sunday. Vasseur pointed out the stewards had reversed a decision which went against Alonso at the previous round.

“Carlos had a very good recovery after the unlucky pit stop, just before the red flag, and to get penalised like this at the end it’s very harsh,” Vasseur told Channel 4 on Sunday. “For sure you are emotional in this kind of situation because you are not far away of the podium, you are P4 coming from nowhere when we all the others get the pit stop for free. He did a mega good job.

“Now, I think that you can discuss hours about the penalty, if it’s harsh or not. For sure that depending of your position, your team and so on the analysis will be different.

“But I think what is a shame for me is that considering that it was not impacting the podium, at least the stewards, they could have listened to them and to have a look on the data. And I think this is a is a bit of a shame. Last week we changed the regulation two times in 10 minutes about the pit stop for Alonso and we could do the same today, at least to discuss.”

Vasseur confirmed Ferrari would not appeal against the decision, but questioned why it had been taken so quickly. “They took 30 laps before to decide if Alonso was into the box or not and today took five seconds.”

Magnussen didn’t realised he’d hit wall

Kevin Magnussen didn’t realise he’d hit the wall at turn two when he suffered the damage which ended his race and triggered the controversial final standing restart in Melbourne.

“I brushed the wall at the exit of turn two and the rim broke, the tyre came off and I had to stop,” he said. “I didn’t even feel it so it definitely wasn’t something that felt big in the car, but it was enough to crack the rim and take the tyre off.”

Broadcaster “apologises” to Kirkwood

IndyCar driver Kyle Kirkwood says he received an apology from the series broadcaster NBC after its commentary team blamed him for a collision in the pit lane with Alexander Rossi. The stewards penalised the McLaren driver rather than Kirdwood for the contact.

“Pretty disappointing how much hate mail I’ve received for the pit lane incident yesterday,” he said in a post on social media. “I’d like to clarify that I was fully 100% within pit lane protocol and the NBC IndyCar broadcast team has kindly apologised for making me out to be the bad guy.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Social media

Notable posts from Twitter, Instagram and more:

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Comment of the day

IndyCar had luck on their side in Sunday’s thrilling Texas 375, says Leroy:

I think a lot of circumstances helped out. Rosenqvist’s crash on lap 172 allowed the sweepers to come in a clear off all the marbles, which had prevented two-lane running. It also allowed the field to catch up to O’Ward and Newgarden who had lapped the entire field at that point.

If it wasn’t for that crash, it probably would not have been as good a race at the end.
Leroy (@G-funk)

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to D_Omin!

On this day in motorsport

  • 30 years ago today Mario Andretti scored his final IndyCar win in the Phoenix 200

Author information

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

21 comments on “Sainz penalty harsh after F1 ‘changed rules twice in 10 minutes for Alonso’ – Vasseur”

  1. Fred has a point. The stewards could’ve indeed waited until the end.

    FIA certainly is the governing body, but Metro is correct that from the outside, things may seem like Netflix would’ve been responsible instead.

    Premature track invasion should never happen, but this seems to be mainly an Albert Park-specific issue, given the 2017 (& ’18) cooldown lap & the 2022 final lap in the pit lane with Albon approaching the exit.

    1. Premature track invasion should never happen, but this seems to be mainly an Albert Park-specific issue

      Not really – it could happen anywhere people decide to jump the fence illegally (and/or immorally).

      A bunch of people just got charged for doing the same thing at Silverstone…

    2. I think Sainz deserved a penalty but clearly the penalty is too severe in those instances but that’s not a reason to not give a penalty, so instead they should be looking at changing the time penalty to not be quite so severe when finishing under safety car. It’s a shame for Sainz that race but that’s sport sometimes.

      I do agree the penalty could have waited after the race given that Sainz was not going to finish on the podium but I still think it was a fair penalty so other than giving Sainz a chance to argue his corner it wouldn’t have made any difference.

      1. It’s a shame for Sainz

        Shame he wouldn’t decelerate his car on time.

      2. In F2, there seems to be a clear divide between time penalties applied to the final race time;
        or, if you don’t finish the race (ie: the penalty would be irrelevant to this race), a grid drop carried forward to the next event.
        I feel like in the event of an F1 race ending under SC, the penalty should instead be carried forward to the next race. Either a grid drop, or 5s penalty at 1st stop.

    3. “Fred has a point. T̶h̶e̶ ̶s̶t̶e̶w̶a̶r̶d̶s̶ @jerejj could’ve indeed waited u̶n̶t̶i̶l̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶e̶n̶d̶ , but no… has to be the first to comment”

    4. Thing is, if the stewards wait until after the race, then everyone complains they’re not doing their job, and they need to make decisions faster.

      If the stewards make their decisions faster, than they’re making decisions too fast, and not listening to the involved parties.

      It’s a no win for them.

      1. Given they were stopped under red flag, though, surely they could’ve spoken to Sainz there and then, either in person or over the radio.

        That said I still believe that, had this been on lap one, no penalty would have been handed out. Given the circumstances, this was defective a lap one incident and should have been treated the same, as a racing incident.

  2. Debrie hit the spectators is more serious but people on the track is also not very good.

  3. Keith and his irrational hatred towards Alonso. He doesn’t write an article about the third-ranked driver in the competition and the only one, along with Max, who has been on all the podiums… And write an article about a meaningless comment that has nothing to do with the penalty. Regrettable. Fortunately Alonso is back and the circus of crying teenage influencers is in the background (read Hamilton and others).

    1. lol why? Fred made those comments, and Keith reported it. You’re making it sound like this site doesn’t report Alonso when he makes a quotable statement (which is absurd).

      Also, this is a news round up article so of course it’s going to be rounded up with… know, news.

    2. Lol, racefans journalists are in love with Alonso, but it seems to be not enough to fulfill your need of “not saying anything wrong about him”. Get real son.

      1. and I didn’t realize it.

  4. So Ferrari is indeed just going to sit there and take it.

    Very disappointing.

    Protest the result! Every time! Make them explain their decisions. Make them do it every GP weekend until everyone knows how rigged the game is.

    The stewards don’t care about the rules, that’s proven beyond doubt by their treatment of the French team and its reckless driver.

    1. You do know that stewards release a written report on every penalty decision they make right? And in addition to that they already released a statement on this.

      1. Their “reports” are meaningless fluff. Yes, there are grounds to penalize Sainz. The FIA Code makes it possible to do that in just about every case.

        The real issue is that the rules are being applied at random, and unequal treatment is the norm in F1. Whether that’s Aston Martin being allowed to work on the car during a penalty, Gasly getting involved in repeated incidents, or Red Bull cruising around with damaged front wings without so much as a sign of a meatball flag.

        Haas had the right idea last year when they objected to the results of the Texas GP. It’s unfortunate that they bungled it and gave the FIA an easy way out. Ferrari should do the same, otherwise they’ll keep being on the receiving end of this, dubious at best, officiating.

    2. MichaelN,
      Ferrari are a joke political wise. Jean Todt has successfully managed to move the FIA away from Ferrari and Ferrari made nothing to counter his efforts with the exception of the 4 years of Marchionne presidency who he knew Todt very well since his days at Ferrari. Marchionne was bold in his approach and didn’t refrain from taking the fight to both F1 and FIA when needed.

      In 2015, he vetoed the proposal to reduce the PU prices something that infuriated Todt who lobbied hard in the upcoming Concorde negotiations to remove Ferrari veto. Marchionne also publicly threatened to pull Ferrari out of F1 if the series will transfer into a spec-series something that is actually happened.

      I don’t know what was Binotto thinking when Ferrari simply didn’t react to RBR lobbying for a PU freeze regime. A formula where chassis and aero are the only performance differentiators, a déjà vu… Binotto was also bragging at some point that Ferrari made concessions and accepted the removal of the MGU-H to let VW enter the sport. Now Porsche officially out and the ICE has been further marginalized, the 2026 PU rules seem to be a big political win for RBR.

      Ferrari need to change their approach with regard to their relationship with both F1 and the FIA and I don’t believe Vasseur will do anything with that regard.

  5. Why would anyone need to listen to a driver when it’s readily apparent that said driver struck a car, pushed it off track, and turned it around for good measure?

    That’s not even a weak argument, that’s just mild whining.

    1. Because as Alonso said, it was a start, everyone was juggling for position, and it wasn’t all that clear cut (recall there used to be a time when stewards just didn’t look at start laps by default) @proesterchen, in addition, it wouldn’t have been a problem for the race result had they given him that penalty afterwards.

    2. @proesterchen if Sainz deserves a penalty, then so does Gasly.

      As Gasly did not get a penalty, Sainz shouldn’t have been penalised either.
      Typical stewarding inconsistency.

    3. Agreed. He would have been in the gravel with Gasly if he didn’t have Alonso as a brake. It’s comical. Alonso is just saying nice things for Sainz because he knows it’s what the Spanish audience wants to hear and it doesn’t do him any good to badmouth Sainz.

      But, yes, it’s a joke Gasly didn’t get a penalty and it’s a clear case of the stewards avoiding taking action solely to avoid a race ban. Bad form.

Comments are closed.