After Carlos Sainz’s infamous crash during the Las Vegas Grand Prix’s FP1, which saw him hit an unfixed drain hole cover at high speed, Ferrari confirmed that the impact had destroyed the chassis, power unit, and energy store of his SF-23. There lies no fault of the driver or the team in this unfortunate incident, and as a result, team principal Fred Vasseur will be engaging in a “private discussion” with the stakeholders seeking compensation.
Formula 1 fans were left in shock as they witnessed the dramatic incident unfold on the Las Vegas circuit. Carlos Sainz, known for his skill and precision, had no chance to avoid the loose drain cover that sent his car into a devastating collision. The impact was so severe that it not only jeopardized his race but also left Ferrari with a massive financial burden.
In the aftermath of the crash, experts and fans alike have been speculating about the consequences for Ferrari. The team, known for its commitment to excellence, was undoubtedly not at fault for the mishap. It was a tragic case of circumstances beyond their control. The repercussions were immediate and severe – the chassis, power unit, and energy store of the SF-23 were all ruined, and the team faced the daunting task of rebuilding.
Team principal Fred Vasseur wasted no time in taking action. Recognizing that the responsibility for this incident did not lie with the driver or the team, he swiftly initiated talks with the stakeholders involved in the Las Vegas Grand Prix. These discussions are not about laying blame but seeking compensation for the substantial damages incurred.
The incident at the Las Vegas Grand Prix has sparked discussions about the responsibility of race organizers. Formula 1 is a sport that demands precision and safety at every turn, and loose drain covers are a risk that should not be tolerated. In the past, instances like this have resulted in financial settlements to compensate teams for their losses, as was the case with Romain Grosjean’s Haas during the 2017 Malaysian Grand Prix.
When questioned about whether the team intended to pursue compensation, Vasseur addressed the media with the following response:
“This will be a private discussion that I will have with the stakeholders of this.”
Given that Liberty Media and Formula 1 serve as the organizers of the Las Vegas Grand Prix, as the race is internally promoted, Vasseur will engage in discussions with the stewards of Formula 1. Furthermore, he emphasized that the crash had dealt a significant blow to the team’s financial stability, affecting their budget cap expenditures. Additionally, the expenses incurred in transporting a spare chassis from Italy to Abu Dhabi for the upcoming weekend added to the financial strain. He went on to say:
“There is no provision into the budget or cost cap, for excluding the crashes.
“For sure you have a lot of extra costs. The loom was damaged, the gearbox was damaged, the battery was damaged, the engine is dead.
“We have a lot of consequences on the financial side, on the sporting side, and even on the stock of spare parts, and on the budget side for sure it’s not an easy one.”
The team’s principal also expressed his intention to highlight the issue of damage to team cars resulting from factors beyond the team’s control, asserting that such expenses should be excluded from the cost cap calculations. Furthermore, he emphasized the need for a thorough discussion regarding the one-minute time gap between the yellow flag and the red flag being displayed during the incident. Notably, the yellow flag had been displayed when a stray object was detected on the track, yet it was only after Sainz’s collision and subsequent stoppage that the race marshals raised the red flag. He elaborated:
“There will be discussion. The decision, it’s another thing. [On the cost cap provision]”
“We’d have to discuss about the circumstances of the incident also.
“Because it’s not just about the cover coming out, it’s also for me that we had one minute between the yellow flag and the red flag.
“It means that when they put the yellow flag that they saw something on track. And they took one minute before they put the red flag. I think it’s too much.
“The main issue for me on this case is that when you put the first yellow flag it means that you saw something, you don’t put the yellow flag by anticipation.
“It means that the guy who put the yellow flag, and put the yellow flag also on my board, which is coming from the race control, it means that they saw something, and then they took one minute before they put the red flag, when it’s the straight line, and you have a metallic part, and you are at 340 kph.”
Affirming that the team had not received any prior notification regarding debris on the track, Vasseur concluded:
“No, they didn’t speak at all. We didn’t know the reason for the yellow flag.”