Ferrari will discuss potential compensation for the damage to Carlos Sainz’s car in FP1 at the Las Vegas Grand Prix, with team principal Fred Vasseur angered by race control’s handling of the situation.
Sainz hit a loose water valve cover at full speed on the Strip. suffering damage that Vasseur says runs into the millions of dollars. However, it’s not just the fact that the cover wasn’t secure enough to remain in place that has upset Ferrari, with Vasseur saying the fact race control took a long time to red flag the session played a part in the incident.
“We’ll have time next week to discuss about this,” Vasseur said. “I think it was not a very fair decision (to penalize Sainz) due to the circumstances, it was very harsh for Carlos, very harsh for the team and we will have to discuss about the circumstances of the incident.
“Also because it’s not just about the cover coming up it’s also for me that we had one minute between the yellow flag and the red flag. It means that when they put out the yellow flag they saw something on track, and it took one minute for them to put out the red flag. I think it’s too much.
“It’s not an easy one to give a set of tires or to give an engine because it’s a gain in performance. But battery, there is no performance in the battery. Considering that we missed FP1, we had a couple of million in damage, the mechanics worked like hell to come back, I think it was not too stupid to consider the case of force majeure.”
Vasseur says there was no warning from race control about what the reason was for the yellow flag before Sainz hit the loose cover.
“No, no, they didn’t at all. We didn’t know the reason. The main issue for me on this case is that when you put out the first yellow flag it means you saw something. You don’t put out the yellow flag out by anticipation. It means that whoever put out the yellow flag, and whoever put it on my board – this is coming from race control – it means they saw something. It then took one minute to put out the red flag when it was the straight and you have a metallic item at 340kph…
“(Compensation) will be a private discussion that I will have with the stakeholders of this, but I’m a bit more upset with the way of managing it rather than with the incident itself.
“The incident we have precedents in the past, even in Monaco which is the top of the top of street circuits – we had this kind of incident a few years ago, I think on the curb at the exit of Turn 1 – we had the case in Malaysia, we had the case in Baku twice, at the pit entry with Bottas and with Russell. I think this is difficult to anticipate and to fix. Then the way you manage the incident is another story.”