Sainz penalized with grid drop in Canadian F1 race for obstructing Gasly
During the final moments of Q1, Pierre Gasly, driving for Alpine, encountered Carlos Sainz, who was nearly stationary at the final chicane. Sainz was trying to create space for himself to attempt another flying lap.
Gasly was forced off onto the escape road as a result of the incident, which ultimately led to his elimination in 17th place instead of improving his lap time to secure a spot in Q2.
An angry Gasly demanded a ban for Sainz at the time, and later criticized the Ferrari driver, labeling his actions as “unacceptable.”
Sainz defended himself by stating that he was impeded by Yuki Tsunoda from AlphaTauri, who overtook him before the chicane, causing Sainz to start his flying lap later than planned.
After considering the accounts of both drivers, the FIA stewards decided to impose a three-place grid penalty on Sainz for the grand prix. This demoted him from eighth to 11th on the starting grid. Consequently, Oscar Piastri moved up to eighth, Alex Albon to ninth, and Sainz’s teammate Charles Leclerc to 10th.
In their official statement, the stewards outlined the following:
“The Stewards listened to statements from the drivers of Car 55 (Carlos Sainz) and Car 10 (Pierre Gasly), team representatives, and reviewed data from the positioning/marshalling system, video footage, timing records, and in-car videos.
Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23
Photo by: Sam Bloxham / F1 Flow Images
“The driver of Car 55 stated that he was taken by surprise when Car 22 overtook him at Turn 13, resulting in him accelerating late to start his fast lap.
“The driver of Car 10 claimed that the driver of Car 55 could have and should have started his lap earlier. Telemetry data revealed a significant speed difference between Cars 55 and 10.
“Although the overtaking maneuver by Car 22 caught the driver of Car 55 off guard, our assessment is that the driver of Car 55 was primarily at fault and needlessly obstructed Car 10.”
Sainz expressed his frustration, saying, “It was a very tight situation as the flag was about to fall. I faced obstruction seven times today. I didn’t shout on the radio at Turn 13. Some drivers choose to communicate more than others.
“Certain incidents are being investigated while others are not, depending on how much you express your concerns over the radio. With the flag about to fall, it became a bit every man for himself, and I had to go. Otherwise, I would have missed my qualifying lap as well, and I was being obstructed at that time too.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about grid penalty
What incident occurred between Sainz and Gasly during F1 qualifying in Canada?
Towards the end of Q1, Carlos Sainz impeded Pierre Gasly during his flying lap at the final chicane. Gasly was forced off onto the escape road, resulting in his elimination from qualifying.
What penalty did Sainz receive for obstructing Gasly?
Sainz received a three-place grid penalty for the grand prix as a result of impeding Gasly. This penalty demoted him from eighth to 11th on the starting grid.
Why did Gasly criticize Sainz’s driving?
Gasly deemed Sainz’s driving as “unacceptable” because he felt that Sainz should have been more aware of his surroundings and allowed him to complete his flying lap without obstruction.
What was Sainz’s defense for impeding Gasly?
Sainz claimed that he was impeded by Yuki Tsunoda from AlphaTauri, who overtook him before the chicane. This forced Sainz to start his flying lap later than planned and contributed to the incident with Gasly.
How did the FIA stewards reach their decision?
The stewards reviewed statements from both drivers, team representatives, and various data sources such as positioning/marshalling system data, video footage, timing records, and in-car videos. After evaluating the evidence, they determined that Sainz was predominantly to blame for the obstruction.