Scuderia Ferrari Formula 1 driver Carlos Sainz found himself at the centre of a strange investigation from the stewards at the 2023 Dakar Rally due to a video which showed the fact that the Spaniard “helped close the car door” for his father Carlos Sainz Sr, who was taking part in the race.
Carlos Sainz Sr has won the Dakar event four times and this year was the 17th time he competed in the iconic rally race. During the third stage Carlos Sainz Sr was forced to stop in order to fix the suspension of his Audi RS Q E-Tron E2. His son, Ferrari F1 driver Sainz Jr, was seen arriving at the scene while the repairs were being made before shutting the door once his father and his co-driver Lucas Cruz returned to the car.
The action was noticed by the FIA Sporting Delegates, who then reported it to the stewards as a possible breach of the rules. The regulation in question states that no helping hand from the team is permitted within a kilometre of the car, except for a few cases. While Audi and Sainz Sr explained that the Ferrari man is not in fact a member of the team, the stewards pointed out that they were worried about how the moment seemed outside of the competition.
“The stewards note that the behaviour of all members of the motorsport community should not raise any doubts. Very well-known people in motorsport set an example for everyone else. It should be noted that Dakar 2023 is a round of the FIA World [Cross Country] Championship. Honest pursuit of the result, adherence to sports principles is especially important. And it is important to follow not only written rules. It is also important to avoid situations that may raise doubts. For the relationship between father and son would be very difficult to see as completely unrelated.”
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The moment can be seen on the following video:
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