Carlos Sainz handed controversial penalty after Las Vegas GP drain cover chaos

Carlos Sainz will be handed a grid penalty for the Las Vegas Grand Prix. The Ferrari driver was forced to make changes to four different components after running over a drain cover valve during FP1 on Friday.

Sainz’s FP1 session got off to the worst possible start on Friday. He ran over a loose drain cover valve which was sucked up into the underbody of his SF-23, creating serious damage.

The 29-year-old was forced to immediately pull over to the side of the track, bringing out the red flag which would never be withdrawn. The session went on to end with just nine minutes of green flag running in the bank.

This incident forced the Ferrari mechanics to change multiple parts of his Ferrari car with a new survival cell, internal combustion engine, energy store and control electronics all fitted to his SF-23.

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Ferrari had requested special treatment in relation to the technical regulations, but this was reluctantly denied by the FIA. Despite this, they acknowledge that “the damage was caused by highly unusual external circumstances”.

The stewards went on to state: “The Stewards not that if they had the authority to grant a derogation in what they consider in this case to be mitigating, unusual and unfortunate circumstances, they would have done so, however the regulations do not allow such action.”


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