Angry Pierre Gasly shoves Carlos Sainz in heated Silverstone paddock exchange

Jamie Woodhouse
Carlos Sainz, Ferrari, speaks to media in Austria. Spielberg June 2023.

Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz speaks to the media.

It was a frustrating afternoon at Silverstone for Carlos Sainz, but the same was true for Pierre Gasly as the irritated Frenchman confronted the Ferrari driver post-race.

Gasly’s race was ended early by a collision with Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll, who picked up a five-second time penalty for his troubles, but before that Gasly had been wound-up in battle with Sainz.

Additional reporting by Thomas Maher

Gasly felt that Sainz had run him out of road as they went to battle heading into Copse, Sainz taking back the position there after Gasly had overtaken at Luffield.

And when Sainz was speaking to the Spanish media, Gasly came over to pay him a visit and deliver a warning of “don’t push me like that”.

“Poor thing” was the response from Sainz, who then re-gathered his thoughts to continue the interview.

Sainz managed only a P10 finish at the venue where he won last season, and his Ferrari team were not the only ones surprised by McLaren’s Silverstone performance surge.

From P2 and P3 on the grid, McLaren picked up where they left off as Lando Norris scoring a P2 finish, while Ferrari managed only P9 and P10, having started P4 and P5 through Charles Leclerc and Sainz respectively.

And speaking to media, including after the race, where Sainz had been caught in two minds over strategy as the Safety Car was deployed at a far from ideal point, the Spaniard offered some insight into that conundrum and expressed his surprise over McLaren’s pace.

Put to him that he could not be happy with how his afternoon went, Sainz replied: “No, I think we expected Mercedes to be quicker, which they were, we didn’t expect McLaren to be quicker, which they were.

“So yeah, in general we were not very strong today out there. Very windy, very tricky car to drive again, very difficult to be consistent in these conditions.

“Still, I think I was doing a pretty decent race, going long on the medium tyre, putting the hard [tyre on] and coming back with a very strong pace and then the Safety Car came out in the worst possible time for me because I had no tyres left and boxing would have meant P10, not boxing being P6 but with positions to lose.

“We tried to stay out there, made it work for three or four laps, until Checo [Sergio Perez] in a Red Bull was always going to pass us.”

Sainz would actually in the closing stages lose three places in a matter of corners, triggered by the Perez overtake, with Alex Albon and team-mate Leclerc having also forced their way through.

Sainz though said he was always going to be “dead meat” on the worn hard tyres against rivals with fresh medium and soft rubber.

“Yeah, I was trying my best to hold on to that position. In the end, I was always going to be dead meat,” he said.

“I was on a used hard tyre against fresh mediums and softs. I actually think I did pretty well to stay ahead until a Red Bull on a soft passed me, and then once they pass you, you get a bit of dirt in the tyres and it’s always a bit tricky with all the cars on softer tyres.”

Leclerc would reveal that it was not Ferrari’s nemesis, tyre degradation, that hamstrung them during the British GP, so was asked to shed some light on what exactly went wrong.

He would explain that high-speed corners remain a weakness of the SF-23, that certainly of no help around a venue like Silverstone, so resolving this issue is the focus of their development programme.

“This is very difficult to understand, but we knew that this track was going to be one of our worst tracks just because of the high-speed corners,” he told media including “This is one of the weaknesses of the car.

“It was kind of a positive surprise to be so close yesterday. I mean, not timing wise, because I didn’t do a great lap in Q3, but we were very close to Red Bull I think on the timed lap.

“But then in the race we were struggling a lot and mostly in the high-speed corners, so I believe that we know why we are struggling, it’s clear for us, we are pushing a lot on the development, especially for the high-speed corners, and hopefully it will be better then at the next race or the track characteristics will suit our car a bit better.”

Ferrari remain P4 in the Constructors’ standings after the British GP, the gap to Aston Martin ahead standing at 24 points.

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