Carlos Sainz Jnr, Ferrari, Las Vegas Strip Circuit, 2023

Ferrari “still discussing” compensation for Sainz’s Vegas damage

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In the round-up: Ferrari are “still discussing” receiving compensation for the damage Carlos Sainz Jnr’s car suffered in Las Vegas last year.

In brief

Ferrari “still discussing” Vegas compensation

Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur says the team have not yet received any compensation for the damage to Carlos Sainz Jnr’s car during the opening practice session for last year’s Las Vegas Grand Prix.

The first practice session was abandoned after Sainz struck a loose track covering along the long Las Vegas Strip straight. Asked whether the team had received any restitution, Vasseur said “we are still discussing, but it’s a work in progress, let’s say.”

“But I think it’s also the normal timing of this kind of matter,” he added. “I’m not scared about this, that we’ll find a solution. I think it will be the normal outcome and the logical outcome and we are working for this.”

“No friction” between Haas drivers

Nico Hulkenberg says he enjoys a good relationship with Haas team mate Kevin Magnussen.

The pair infamously clashed in the Hungarian Grand Prix in 2017, leading to a memorable exchange between the two drivers. However, after racing together for a year, Hulkenberg says their relationship is solid.

“I think we work together really well,” Hulkenberg said. “It’s been a good match and there’s been no problems or friction whatsoever.

“I think there are a lot of similarities in our lives, we’re both more experienced, we both have young families, and we both had a break from Formula 1 and then came back. We’re very aligned even on what we want from the car, so it’s been really nice working with him and I look forward to keeping that relationship going.”

Lovinfosse to race for Rodin in F1 Academy

Rodin have confirmed that Lola Lovinfosse will race one of their cars in this year’s F1 Academy season.

The 18-year-old raced in the inaugural season of the championship last year for Campos. She ended the championship tenth in the drivers’ standings after taking three podium finishes at the Red Bull Ring and twice at Paul Ricard.

Lovinfosse joins Alpine junior Abbi Pulling, who will race in the team’s colours for this season.

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Comment of the day

Reader AlanD is not a fan of the current sprint race format in Formula 1…

I wouldn’t call them ‘abominations’, but I don’t like the mixed format. As it stands, the sprint race is just a truncated version of a grand prix. Unlike other sports such as football – where a normal match and five-a-side are completely different games – or cricket where a T20 and a test match are vastly different. In F1, if you turned the TV on in the middle of a race, you’d have no idea if you were watching a sprint or a grand prix.

If the sprint championship was for junior and reserve drivers only, I think a lot of people would get into it. When it is just a way of soaking up even more minutes on TV and a way of making some weekends worth more points than others, I think a lot of the longer-term race fans get a bit frustrated with it.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Steve_P83, Mister Nillionaire and Roodda!

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...

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38 comments on “Ferrari “still discussing” compensation for Sainz’s Vegas damage”

  1. If I wanted to watch junior or reserve drivers, I’d watch the junior formulas. Big no for me, who has watched every sprint quali and race. F1 fan since the 90s.

    1. Yes, also not a fan of that idea.

    2. I think doing something to make them feel different from the main race would help, sometimes they tried different tyre compounds for example, if that’s not different enough could try reverse grid or reverse track way for example.

      1. Stevan Vasiljević
        17th February 2024, 7:10

        Reverse track way is impossible because trackside safety instalations are effective only in one direction.

        1. I’ve previously looked at a couple of track layouts, and I’d say that the pit lane entry/exit safety would be improved by reversing the flow.
          Trackside safety installations are largely ephemeral and as such easy to modify. I’m sure that there are a few instances that are more challenging, but those would be outliers.

          1. Trackside safety installations are largely ephemeral and as such easy to modify.

            At temporary circuits, perhaps (and not really even then – given the planning, practicality and certification behind their placement) – but certainly not at permanent venues.

            We aren’t just talking about openings in walls and signage/flag marshal placements – in addition to all the big safety stuff like runoff area placements and emergency vehicle access, almost every little detail is directionally sensitive too, right down to the angles of the ripples on the kerbs.

            Any change to any of these things requires FIA re-certification (remember Indy 2005?) and of course the accompanying fee. Safety is no game – and in this day and age, neither is liability. Changing the direction of a circuit is a truly massive, expensive and time-consuming exercise – which is why nobody does it.

    3. I’m an F1 fan since the 90s and I love the idea of sprints being for reserve drivers. That way drivers can prove their worth on track rather than having their abilities mused about on the internet.

    4. I have little doubt that said drivers could put on a good show, and if we never knew they were reserve drivers nobody would really care. But the problem is that everyone would know, from the outset, that this was the B-group. The ‘not good enoughs’. The ‘well I guess we have to’. Unfair? Definitely, but optics matter a lot.

      Having Badoer and Panis race F1 cars was perfectly fine in the late 1990s. But when they were demoted to test drivers, that ‘stain’ never really went away when they made their (brief) returns.

    5. I would enjoy watching different drivers performing and all the inconclusive however entertaining discussion about how much the speed of each team is coming from the car or driver.
      I’m just not sure how to solve the need of car changes to support different drivers in the cockpit/setup preference or the cost of racing a third chassis.

  2. Wow, didn’t expect Hornergate to take that turn. So many questions… Not a good look for Red Bull to not take action if this is truly the nature of the complaint. If the accuser has got the receipts, I can’t imagine what Horner is playing at.

    1. Whilst I’m still taking the situation with a grain of salt, the longer Red Bull allows it to be drawn out the worse the situation will get.

    2. De Telegraaf is not exactly a reliable newspaper. This is a perfect topic to combine all the tropes; rich men, shady affairs, lots of money, Max Max Max, and so on. They’re in the business of selling papers, and this is great material.

      Let’s wait and see what the people actually looking into it seriously say in due time.

      1. Surely there’s something though right, or the investigation would have concluded, Horner’s name would be clear, and he’d be free to make statements about how outrageous and ridiculous they are, like what Wolff was able to do.

        De Telegraaf would be absolutely crazy to make up the story that they’ve seen the messages, and are in enough contact with the source to know the value of the hush-money offered, just to sell some papers. The defamation from ruining a career as big as Horner’s would have to outweigh whatever money they’d make, not to mention the reputation hit, nobody would trust anything they say ever again.

        1. Surely there’s something though right, or the investigation would have concluded, Horner’s name would be clear, and he’d be free to make statements about how outrageous and ridiculous they are, like what Wolff was able to do.

          They might be confident that it’s true, but it wouldn’t be the first time that an eagerness to have a juicy ‘Premium’ article gets the better of a journalist – even the good ones. If it’s true, we’ll know in due time.

          It’s a bit like the old Soviet joke about a man who came to a newspaper kiosk every morning, looked at the papers, but never bought anything. One day the owner asks what he’s looking for. ‘An obituary’, he says. The owner explains that those aren’t on the front page. To which the man responds; ‘This one will be.’

        2. They don’t make up stories but they often take something and makes it bigger but after sued they have to reverse the accusations and pay lots of money. Their Proof is some whatsapp messages which is very hard to use in court… So just wait with what Red Bull brings out.

      2. Erik van Haren has good sources, but indeed, De Telegraaf doesn’t mind bringing news as sensationalist as possible.

        As long as we don’t know more details it’s a trial by media and it could be either a tip of an ice berg or an affair gone wrong and someone wanting to air the dirty laundry. If more people come forward with similar complaints Horner is toast for sure. And anyway: he should’ve known better.

        What surprises me most is the timing. It’s off season, F1 journalists don’t have much to write about. What better moment to try and unsettle the most dominant team in F1 history? I know a man (small, grey man with round glasses, somewhere in his 90s) who would happily pay for this story to surface.

        1. Ruben, it’s fairly clear that you’re suggesting Bernie Ecclestone planted that story, but the theory doesn’t seem to make much sense when you think about it.

          Quite simply, why would it be to Bernie’s benefit to plant such a story when Bernie was removed from FOM seven years ago? There is no benefit to him, given he no longer has any ties to the sport, and his political influence has collapsed to the point that he is considered largely irrelevant. Furthermore, given that Horner is one of the few avenues through which Bernie can exercise some influence, why would he actively sabotage him?

          1. Ok, I should’ve wrote a bit more sarcasm in that last paragraph. I’m not seriously suggesting Bernie actually arranged this.
            Though to me, a F1-in-the-90s kid, both this news and Hamilton’s move to Ferrari, have something very Bernie-esque to it. Can’t put a finger on it – divide and conquer, spice up the season…stuff like that :)

      3. While I am VERY much not a fan of the Telegraaf and their coverage and columnists on most topics, their F1 coverage really tends to be incredibly well sourced, be it at times somewhat influenced by obvious short lines to the Verstappen camp. They certainly put a sensationalist spin on their headlines though.

        And they would most certainly NOT publish this unless they had enough sources / material to support the claims in the article (vetted through lawyers would be a certainty to cover against Horner/RB potentially suing them if not).

        As far as I know Bernie is rather on the friendly side of Horner, so him getting involved somehow is probably another sign of Horner using whatever means at his disposal to kill the story (next to offering the employee to settle for big money after he was contacted by the Telegraaf for comment), I’d say Bernie is as likely to go for disinformation and a “who knows where the truth lies” strategy as Putin is, trying to get us to doubt everything.

    3. Is there anything of substance behind the accusation? We just don’t know. But the allegation is ridiculously easy to put forward even in case it is totally factitious, and brutally damaging when publicized enough. I cannot imagine no better way to put a spanner in the works of the Red Bull Team by a rival outfit. The worst part of it all is that even if no scrap of evidence is shown and CH gets acquitted, the accusing party gets scot-free after causing a huge lot of damage.

      1. As Eric van Haren gets his news straight from Jos Verstappen -a former Telegraaf columnist- and explicietely states he has seen the screenshots of Horner’s messages (which, even for a semi-tabloid newspaper like the Telegraaf is a matter of journalistic integrity to not just lie about), then yes, I’d say there’s a lot of substance here. The chances of this being a fabrication is easily as low as 1%.

        1. Unfortunately I cannot access the article, apparently you need a subscription. only the title and it does not say much. Also I cannot read Dutch but this should not be too much of a problem with online translation available

        2. @sjaakfoo

          What do you mean by ‘substance?’ That the claim has been made, or that there is actual evidence for it?

          The newspaper merely claims the former and in itself that means nothing. I can just accuse you right now of sexual misconduct and then it would be a fact that the claim has been made, but there would be no facts to support that claim.

      2. The newspaper would most certainly NOT publish any story with so much claims of facts and information they claim to have been privilege to unless it was true. Otherwise they would already be in a courtroom with Horner / RB filing to stop publishing and claim damages for publishing something like this.

        1. @bascb

          Newspapers are actually quite good at insinuating things in a way that allows them to escape legal problems even when there is nothing to it. I’ve seen it time and again.

          So I don’t believe them until they actually provide the receipts.

        2. Horner just sued de Telegraaf so there is your claim. It’s not if the have 100% proof in hands a screenshot of messages isn’t useable in court (As target of threatmessages the Dutch Police said it wasn’t useable in court)

  3. Interesting that Joey Logano was with Charles Leclerc, Carlos Sainz talking and playing cards after he won the Daytona pole.

    Saw Logano race in 2007 when he was about 16 years old. I worked with a racer, Mike Duncan in Nascar West series. Did his website and took photos for a few years for him. Logano raced in the Nascar East series when the West and East had two races that year. I think Logano won both of those races. In 2004 and 2005 Duncan was the West series champion.

    A few years ago…

  4. I thought the compensation matter was resolved rather than still ongoing, but I’m sure it’ll eventually.

    Having non-regulars driving in the sprint would be a decent idea in theory, but less so practically, given increased crash damage risk & consequently possible side-effect impact on regular drivers.

  5. I respect the suggestion of making sprint races a rookie or reserve driver event, if the aim is to quietly kill them by making it so no one will watch them. My own preference is to set up a separate championship for sprint races.

    But really, they are just different ways of saying that sprint races are bad and we shouldn’t have them at all.

  6. I think there are a number of reasons why junior driver sprint races are impractical.

    Firstly, I don’t understand how the penalty system would work. Could a team deliberately retire a car from the sprint race to save mileage/damage for the grand prix? If the car is irreparably damaged in the sprint does the team get another car to use for the main event? Would these cars be subject to parc ferme? Would the drivers have any testing time or would their first turn of the wheel be the sprint quali outlap? It’s a recipe for disaster. Moreover why would the teams support it? If Drugovich was performing well in the sprint races, wouldn’t that add huge pressure onto Stroll? If a driver is in F2 and an F1 test driver will they do all events or will they have to sacrifice their F2 ambitions? In effect, that would make the sprint race full of drivers that can’t get a drive elsewhere.

    We need to give young drivers more time in the car, and we need to remove sprint races but the solution is not to combine them. I’m comfortable increasing in season testing with junior drivers only and reducing race weekends to 2 days. F1 should be promoting F2, making the feature race a larger part of the agenda, as at the moment it’s a second thought. Allowing a couple of extra teams in the sport to allow for proper career progression wouldn’t hurt either.

    1. Firstly, I don’t understand how the penalty system would work. Could a team deliberately retire a car from the sprint race to save mileage/damage for the grand prix? If the car is irreparably damaged in the sprint does the team get another car to use for the main event?

      I’m puzzled, you’re talking as though the juniors would drive this year’s car, rather than last year’s car.
      If you have an F2 race as support for an F1, would you expect the F2 drivers (in a different competition) to be driving the F1 cars the team brought for the F1 GP?

      1. There are no F1 teams interested in this.
        Look at it from their perspective – what is being proposed is for every team to run two parallel racing programs using different machinery and different staff, yet for only the same amount of media space/time and for the same audience (or only a portion thereof). They’d also have the increase in logistics and budget (which not all teams have available).
        If they want junior drivers to get experience in F1, then they give it to them during Friday practice sessions. Notice that all of the teams choose to use those juniors drivers only for the minimum number of sessions the rules require – and even then, only at a very reduced capacity as compared to an actual F1 driver.

        And then, there’s the issue of so few viewers (and sponsors) being interested in this….
        It’s a bit of a hard sell to get people to pay that much for the privilege of seeing drivers they don’t know driving cars that are now otherwise consigned to the museum for no reason other than to fill some track time, while taking as little risk as possible.
        In no sense is that a better option than a sprint race using the current F1 cars being driven by current F1 drivers.
        It’s not even better than the practice sessions that sprints replace.

      2. SteveP, that is because the original proposal put forward by AlanD did propose exactly that – i.e. that the sprint race would use the same cars as the main race, but the team would use a reserve driver instead of their main driver.

      3. I’ve never seen a proposal to use last year’s cars to be honest. That would surely be a logistical nightmare and totally at odds with the green agenda F1 is trying to promote. I’ve only ever seen proposals of 10 car young driver grids which are beset with the issues I raised in the comment above.

        The F2 driver conflict I mention is that if the sprint races are featured at every round, like MotoGP, then there will be an overlap where the F2 driver would have to do f2 practice, quali, sprint and feature race as well as an f1 warm up (surely), sprint quali and sprint race all before Saturday evening. That is clearly too much for any driver so the teams would have to decide which championship they’d like their driver to compete. Full F2 or Sprint F1. That is to the detriment of both series imo.

        1. I’ve never seen a proposal to use last year’s cars to be honest.

          I’m used to being ignored.

  7. Warning – Fraudulent sales of F1 hospitality packages by Privè Global Events and Informa Hospitality Group

    Am I experiencing some kind of “deja vu” ??
    I thought this one came up part way through last year, at which time I did a quick check and tracked the dodgy company to a registered office address in a badly run down semi-detached property in a run-down part of the Black Country region of the UK midlands. Maybe they changed the company name slightly.

    A quick web search turns up references to the same scam over three months ago.
    The search also shows them doing similar scams with other sporting events.

  8. From how Vasseur said things Ferrari already got promised that everything would be paid back so no worry there.

    The discussion is most likely, who is paying for the damages (FIA or track organizers) cause when it comes to getting money from organizations like that you have better luck drawing blood from a stone.

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