Carlos Sainz avoids grid penalty after near-collsion with Oscar Piastri

Sam Cooper
Ferrari's Carlos Sainz

Carlos Sainz will leave Ferrari at the end of the 2024 season.

Carlos Sainz has escaped a possible penalty for the Dutch Grand Prix despite being found guilty of a potentially dangerous manoeuvre.

The Spaniard emerged from the pit lane during Q1 and seemed unaware of Piastri who was behind coming out of Turn 1.

Even though the Australian was not on a flying lap, he had to brake sharply to avoid contact with the Spaniard and the incident was immediately noted by race control.

Having heard from both the drivers after the session, the stewards handed Sainz a reprimand while Ferrari were fined €5,000.

In their assessment of the incident, the stewards listened to the radio of Valtteri Bottas, who was the car that exited the pits immediately ahead of Sainz and Bottas was given ample warning of Piastri approaching on the track.

By comparison Sainz was warned not to cross the white line at the exit of the pits and was not warned about Piastri until he was already alongside.

It is not the first time this season Ferrari have not covered themselves in glory when it comes to giving sufficient information to their drivers but the incidents have usually been confined to Charles Leclerc’s side of the garage.

Despite Sainz’s minimal warning, the stewards determined that his rapid move to the line, while unable to see a car that he knew was in the area created a “potentially dangerous” situation, hence why he received a reprimand.

Speaking shortly before the decision was announced, McLaren team principal Andrea Stella said they knew Sainz was a “fair and very good person.”

“In that case, the jeopardy was mainly because of the risk,” he told media including PlanetF1.com. “Because actually Oscar wasn’t on a quick lap. This was clarified also in our conversation with the stewards.

“Obviously, it’s not nice from a safety point of view to find yourself in that condition.

“We like Carlos, we know he is a very fair, a very good person. Certainly if there was a situation, it was not intentional.”

Read next: Exclusive – Christian Horner responds to Charles Leclerc’s Red Bull dominance claim