Carlos Sainz, a mockery in Las Vegas
Las Vegas was a missed opportunity for Scuderia Ferrari, especially know when we consider the outcome of the battle with Mercedes for second place in the 2023 Formula 1 Constructors championship. That time, however, it was not the fault of the car, a driver’s mistake, or the slip-ups at the pit wall, which had significantly decreased compared to the past. If Ferrari missed a double podium in Nevada, it was due to that raised manhole cover that overturned Carlos Sainz’s SF-23 during the first free practice of the weekend. The FIA, after giving the green light to a track that evidently had flaws, even penalized the Spaniard on the grid for replacing the battery, further demolishing his weekend with a twist of fate for Scuderia Ferrari, which had to pay a whopping 1,225,000 euros in damages.
Carlos Sainz has revisited what he calls the strangest incident of his career.
Carlos Sainz’s comments
“It gave me a significant blow because the manhole cover hit the front part of the chassis, also hitting the seat area. I was in shock; the blow was like an explosion. And if you see the images from outside, it does look like the car is exploding. Thank God, however, nothing happened to me. Undoubtedly, it was the strangest thing that has happened to me in my career,” he said in a recent interview with sponsor Banco Santander.
“What happened to me in Las Vegas is something that shows how this sport needs to continue working because no one in F1 agreed with this penalty and was happy with this situation. Did I see the manhole cover? No, I didn’t see it. Firstly, it was a night session of free practice, and being dark, it was not distinguishable from the asphalt.” – the Spaniard pointed out.
“The frustration in these moments is very difficult to manage, especially when you are very competitive and put in a lot of effort to prepare for a race. Suddenly things like those in Las Vegas happen, where a manhole cover breaks, practically destroying your car, ruining the last two races of the year. I couldn’t have done anything differently; it’s more the fault of the circuit or the FIA, but even so, they penalize you by giving you a ten-place grid penalty, so you have to start further back even if you have proven to be on the front row.” – Scuderia Ferrari Spanish driver Carlos Sainz concluded.