Carlos Sainz said his grid penalty incurred for damage outside of his and Ferrari’s control at the Las Vegas Grand Prix left him the most upset that he has ever been towards Formula 1.
The first visit to the Las Vegas Strip Circuit did not get off to a positive start for on-track matters, the opening practice session waived off after mere minutes when Sainz’s Ferrari sucked up a drain cover.
That impact destroyed the underneath of the Ferrari, but further frustration was to come for team and driver.
Carlos Sainz never been more angry towards F1
Additional reporting by Thomas Maher
Despite the damage caused not being Sainz’s or Ferrari’s fault, the rebuild of that SF-23 nonetheless still resulted in a 10-place grid penalty, the stewards claiming they did not have the authority to not impose the penalty.
The frustration that left Sainz feeling was at the highest he has ever felt in his career.
“It was such a disastrous weekend for me and the team and we lost such a good opportunity there to score big points and fight for a win that I haven’t fought [for] since Singapore,” said Sainz when asked by PlanetF1.com if he’d had the chance to reflect on that incident?
“It was an incredibly frustrating feeling. I’ve never been as frustrated as a racing driver, or never been more upset towards the sport than I was in Vegas.”
The final race weekend of the season which followed in Abu Dhabi did little to improve Sainz’s mood, a shock Q1 exit followed by a P18 result in the Grand Prix.
Sainz felt what went down in Las Vegas potentially had a knock-on effect for Abu Dhabi, as he claimed there is no “solution” for how F1 behaved towards himself and Ferrari.
“I’m still angry about what happened and it affected my championship and Ferrari’s championship, but even if you put a protest you never win it, so there it is, the way F1 behaved with me and Ferrari, I don’t see a solution to the problem,” he said at a Estrella Galicia 0.0 sponsor event.
“Maybe without that breakage the end of the season would have been different, with a different performance in Abu Dhabi.
“It was an unfortunate end and I don’t want it to tarnish a good season for me.”
Indeed, Sainz’s season was not lacking in high moments, the prime example being his victory at the Singapore Grand Prix, making him the only non-Red Bull grand prix winner of F1 2023.