Sainz penalty should have been discussed afterwards - Vasseur

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Sainz penalty should have been discussed afterwards - Vasseur

Formula 1

Sainz penalty should have been discussed afterwards - Vasseur


Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur believes the penalty for Carlos Sainz that dropped him out of the points in the Australian Grand Prix should have been discussed after the race.

Sainz hit Fernando Alonso on the final race restart, spinning the Aston Martin from third place to the back of the field. Despite the final finishing order then being taken from the grid order – prior to the collision – Sainz was given a five-second time penalty during a red flag period that meant when all the cars crossed the line under safety car conditions he was demoted from fourth to 12th.

“My job is to take the positives not just the negatives but just like this, jumping off the pit wall, I think it is more a negative because we did overall a good job,” Vasseur told Channel 4. “Carlos had a very good recovery after the unlucky pit stop just before the red flag and to get penalized like this just before the end is very harsh.

“For sure you are emotional in this kind of situation because you are not far away from the podium, you are P4 coming from nowhere when all the others get the pit stop for free. He did a mega job and now I think that you can discuss for hours the penalty, whether it was harsh or not.

“For sure, that depending on your team the analysis will be different but I think what is a shame for me, considering it was not impacting the podium, at least the stewards could have listened to them and have a look on the data.

“I think this is a shame, last week we changed the regulations two times in ten minutes in the pit stop for Alonso, we could have the same, at least to discuss.”

Sainz himself was distraught in the cockpit after being informed of the penalty, as the punishment was going to prove so severe, and with Alonso also feeling the decision was too harsh, Vasseur says a protest didn’t cross his mind but that it should have been reviewed in a different way.

“No, I am not a big fan of this (protesting), it’s an incident on track. But an incident on track you have always two cars in the incident and you have two ways of seeing the incident, I’m coming as the team principal of Ferrari and of Carlos, my position is not the same as the other guys in the paddock. But I think in these decisions we could take five minutes to discuss and look at the data.”