Carlos Sainz handed grid penalty after Pierre Gasly impeding verdict

Sam Cooper
Carlos Sainz looks down while wearing his balaclava. Montreal, Canada. June 2023.

Carlos Sainz looks down while wearing his balaclava. Montreal, Canada. June 2023.

Carlos Sainz will start P11 in the Canadian Grand Prix after being handed a three-place grid penalty by the stewards.

Sainz was found guilty of impeding during the first sessions of qualifying as he held up both Lando Norris and Pierre Gasly in the final corner.

Gasly, who was on a flying lap at the time, was forced to drive over the grass and abort his lap resulting in him being eliminated from Q1 for the second time this season.

The Frenchman was furious after the incident, criticising Sainz for blocking him at a high-speed portion of the track and asking that he be handed a race ban.

Sainz has avoided a ban but will instead start outside of the top five for the first time in 2023.

The stewards said that Sainz said he was “surprised” Gasly had gone to overtake him and felt he had to therefore accelerate to start his flying lap.

The stewards also said Sainz was “predominantly to blame” and “unnecessarily impeded” Gasly.

Speaking after the session but before his summons, Sainz defended his actions by saying he himself had been impeded and that he was not like other drivers who shouted about it on the radio.

“It was very tight with the flag, it was about to fall,” he told Sky Sports fF1. “I was impeded seven times today and I’m not shouting on the radio.

“Other drivers choose to use the radio more than others and today I was getting impeded many times.

“Some are being investigated, some or not. It depends how much you shout about it on the radio.”

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Gasly meanwhile said Sainz was “in the worst possible place.”

“To be honest, I don’t think any words can express the disappointment and the frustration,” the Alpine driver said.

“You put so much work in during practice, building a weekend, extracting everything out of the quali, we did everything right.

“That was good enough for top six even if I lose a couple of tenths with traffic but Carlos was just in the worst possible place.

“To stay completely in the racing line, for me that’s morally unacceptable and unfair.”