Carlos Sainz suspects politics at play as F1 problem resurfaces in testing

Sam Cooper
Carlos Sainz

Carlos Sainz was given a 10-place grid penalty as a consequence of running over a drain in Vegas.

Carlos Sainz has blamed “political things” for Formula 1’s inability to solve drain covers after Day 3 of pre-season testing was again disrupted.

As was the case on Thursday, Friday’s running was delayed after Sergio Perez ran over a loose drain cover at Turn 11, the very same one Charles Leclerc had dislodged previously.

Drain covers destroying a Ferrari is of course nothing new with Sainz being the unfortunate victim of a loose one in Las Vegas and he said this problem should have been solved by now.

Carlos Sainz raises ‘political things’ problem with F1 rule changes

While damage in pre-season testing is disruptive, it is nowhere near as impactful during a grand prix weekend and Sainz’s incident in Nevada saw him handed a 10-place grid drop after exceeding his energy store allocation.

Three months on and the Spaniard was frustrated to see the problem not solved.

“Looks like the regulations have not changed,” he told media including “These things will keep happening and people will keep getting unfair penalties.

“After what happened in Vegas, it should be a must to change [the rule]. Like always, one team cannot agree with the other and there’s always political things and things going on when F1 teams don’t agree.” recommends

Fresh Bahrain F1 2024 testing disruption as curse of the drain covers returns

F1 Testing 2024: Carlos Sainz tops another drain-cover-blighted session

Max Verstappen also raised the issue and said drains should be checked before an event weekend.

“With the ground effect cars, for me, it’s a little bit worse,” he said. “But it also seems like we’re driving in places that not a lot of other cars are going in terms of opening up corners and stuff. But maybe these kinds of things can be checked a bit more.

“We know that this is a potential problem with these cars and when you go to certain tracks, you know where the drain covers are so I guess before you start driving in the weekend, to double check that everything is solid I think it is a must for the upcoming tracks.

“We don’t [want to] have another situation where cars get destroyed and especially with the budget cap in place as well. It’s not nice when these things happen.”

Read next: Lewis Hamilton replacement race hots up with hopefuls even calling George Russell