F1 stewards handed down stiff penalty in Las Vegas despite ‘feeling it was wrong’
F1 final loss debacle in Las Vegas that cost Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz 10th place was a mistake stewards admit Steward Derek Warwick said the penalty for Carlos Sainz’s 10th place on the grid at the Las Vegas Grand Prix “felt wrong and was wrong”.
Ferrari driver Sainz crashed into a loose drain cover in the first minutes of first practice in Sin City, causing significant damage to his car.
The remaining sessions were canceled as organizers scrambled to repair a loose drain cover to prevent further damage and delays.
However, changes made to Sainz’s car meant the Spaniard received a 10-place grid penalty before qualifying.
Sainz qualified the Las Vegas race in second place.
He started from 12th place and rose to 6th place, earning him eight valuable points.
This penalty could have affected the race for second place in the constructors’ championship.
Mercedes had a three-point lead over Ferrari after Abu Dhabi.
Rivals’ Merck was accused of vetoing Ferrari’s penalty waiver in Las Vegas in a bid to improve its standing in the constructors’ championship.
Boss Toto Wolff says he would have done the same if he was the boss of any other team.
“As team principal of a rival team competing for second place, I have to look at the regulations and look at everything we can to finish second in the championship,” Wolff told RacingNews365.
If the regulations say so, I must act in the best interest of my team and 2,500 people.
If I lost the championship by five points because I acted fair and the regulations allowed me to actually punish the car, then I have to do it.
The bosses of other teams will do the same because it’s unfair.
I have to decide: Is it unfair to the competitors?
But I literally have 2,500 people who are responsible for paying their mortgages and tuition.
So it’s easy.