F1 drivers back up Carlos Sainz’s ‘absolutely shocking’ rant after Lewis Hamilton incident
Carlos Sainz has received huge support from his fellow F1 drivers.
Carlos Sainz has described the grip levels at the Las Vegas Grand Prix start as “absolutely shocking,” blaming the oil dumped onto the grid by the parade cars, as well as the low track temperatures for his lap-one collision with Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton.
Ahead of the race start, the drivers were paraded around the circuit in individual classic cars, giving them a chance to wave at the fans and take in the sights before lights out. Unfortunately, Hamilton’s car failed to even start, while Oscar Piastri and Charles Leclerc’s vehicles dumped more oil onto the grid.
With all three of those incidents occurring on the inside line, this side of the track had even less grip for the race start. When the lights went out, Sainz was running behind Hamilton, who was being boxed in by the Haas of Nico Hulkenberg on the outside. Failing to slow his Ferrari down on time, the Spaniard tagged the back of the Mercedes car, sending him into a spin.
Discussing the collision after the race, he said: “Apart from the dirty track already being there, on top of that, we put cars that are leaking oil into the track one hour before the race – it’s unacceptable. That probably caused a lot of the crashes into Turn One.
You never expect it to be so bad. I just touched the brake, not even hit it and the tyres were locked. I didn’t even brake that late, I braked around the 100-metre board but [I was] arriving 100kph slower than on a quali lap. The cold tyres probably also played a role. It was absolutely shocking, lap one, and I think we all struggled.”
These comments were backed up by Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate George Russell, who said: “It’s not the first time we’ve seen these historical cars dropping oil. It was pretty shocking to see how bad it was. But they did a good job to clear it up for the race.”
Alpine driver Pierre Gasly was another who took issue with the situation, stating: “It wasn’t nice, especially lining up on the best spot of the year for us. I’ve discussed it already with FIA, and I’m sure we’ll change a few things because it doesn’t feel really fair that some guys got to start on oil and some others have clear tarmac. I’m sure they’ll fix it.” Max Verstappen was also unimpressed with the oil spills on the grid with Auto Motor und Sport journalist Tobi Grüner noting via the X social media platform ahead of the race that the reigning world champion was not happy after seeing the leakage from Piastri’s car.
Thankfully for Sainz and Hamilton, both drivers recovered to finish inside of the points with the Ferrari man leading the seven-time world champion over the line in P7 and P8, before both drivers were promoted by one place due to Russell’s five-second ti