Carlos Sainz feels Race Control created a “mess”, and one that was “unnecessary”, as they had six laps in which to tell Sergio Perez to give him back P3.
Racing at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit on Sunday night, Perez was an unlucky victim when the Safety Car was deployed for Nicholas Latifi’s accident.
The Red Bull driver, who had pitted the previous lap, could only watch as Charles Leclerc, Max Verstappen and Sainz all took free pit stops, all three coming out ahead of Perez.
However, Sainz was only marginally ahead of Perez at the Safety Car line with the Mexican driver then pulling ahead in what was an illegal overtake.
Sainz and Ferrari called for him to give the position back but that was only done after the restart, but that Sainz feels was unfair as it meant he wasn’t able to attack second placed Verstappen when the racing resumed.
The state of play directly behind the @MercedesAMG Safety Car…
— Formula 1 (@F1) March 27, 2022
“It definitely was very strange,” said the Spaniard.
“I think as a sport we need to keep analysing these things because we could simplify things so much more if Checo would have just given me the position during the Safety Car which basically would have given me an opportunity to fight Max at the restart and would have given Checo on opportunity to fight me to get the position but what happened is that I was obviously fighting Checo.
“I knew that Checo was going to give me a position quickly and he couldn’t fight me because he was going to give me a position back so in the end, we created a mess that for me is unnecessary, given the fact that we did six laps behind the Safety Car and there were millions of opportunities for Checo to let me by and have a good fight at the restart.
“If I would have get passed by Russell for example, what would we have done and would Checo have had to let by Russell and me, which would have been tremendously unfair for him too or then Checo doesn’t give me back the position because there’s Russell in between me and him and it’s tremendously unfair for me.
“So I don’t know, it’s just these kind of things that as a sport we need to keep getting better at because I think we need to simplify things and just make it more quicker and easier for everyone to understand and even for the drivers to go racing with a much clearer mind.”
Sainz feels Perez also did himself a mischief by not handing the position back behind the Safety Car as it meant instead of launching an attack on Sainz at the restart, the Red Bull driver had to slow to let the Ferrari through.
“Basically Checo lost the opportunity to fight with me on the restart,” he said, “and I lost the opportunity to fight with Max for [Perez] not giving up the position during the Safety Car.
“I think for the sake of racing and the sake of Formula 1, these kind of things need to happen quicker and they need to happen more efficiently.”
As for Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto, he told The Race that Ferrari were immediately on the radio to the race director, which was Eduardo Freitas for the Saudi race.
The Italian feels Freitas took too long to make the call.
“The communication is that we went on the radio with the race director as soon as possible, told him to check on the Safety Car line because we believe that we were ahead a couple of tenths,” he said.
“It took a bit too long, I believe from them to decide and to give that to the stewards and finally they took the decision when the Safety Car was coming in, and it was too late before the restart.
“So it’s not a blame, but I think that those types of decisions we need to speed up because it was obvious and straightforward and I think it could have been done differently.
“It would have been important to do it differently. It would have been a lot more fair and equitable to swap the position before the restart, because that was the right position to have, and for the battle at the restart as well.”
Sainz unimpressed with the FIA's 'unnecessary' SC 'mess'
Carlos Sainz was left complaining about how the FIA created an 'unnecessary mess' of his situation with Sergio Perez.