Carlos Sainz’s cheeky response after Turn 1 clash with Oscar Piastri at Spa

Michelle Foster
Carlos Sainz with a hole in his sidepod. Belgium July 2023

Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz with a hole in his SF-23's sidepod. Belgium July 2023

Carlos Sainz believes rookie driver Oscar Piastri showed his “inexperience” when he went up the inside of the Ferrari driver into Turn 1 at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit with the two colliding.

Starting fourth on the grid to Piastri’s P5, the two were caught out in the opening lap squeeze for position.

Sainz tried to attack Lewis Hamilton for position into the opening corner, sliding up the inside of the Mercedes driver as he turned in only to find Piastri was on his inside.

Carlos Sainz: Maybe it’s a bit of an inexperience mistake

The contact pushed Piastri into the wall with the Aussie retiring with suspension damage while Sainz spent the next 20-odd laps falling down the order as he nursed his SF-23, which had a hole in the right-side sidepod.

Ferrari eventually retired the car on lap 23 when Sainz came in for his second pit stop of the day.

It was a disappointing race for both drivers who had hoped to score solid points, if not fight for a spot on the podium as Piastri had done 24 hours earlier in the Sprint race.

But while he was billed a star after securing his breakthrough podium finish, Sainz believes his “inexperience” showed on Sunday.

“I was on the attack with Lewis and went to pass him into Turn 1 and I think I pretty much had the move done and suddenly I received a bit of contact on my rear-right by Oscar,” the Spaniard told Sky F1

“Obviously, honestly, I didn’t expect him to go and choose to be three into Turn 1.

“My opinion if you want to know, I’ve been racing at Spa for seven, eight years and everyone who has tried that move on the inside has generated a bit of a crash when you look at the past starts here. That’s normally the case

“So maybe it’s a bit of an inexperience mistake.

“I didn’t expect him there. I did at one point see he was from the wall pretty much but honestly, I was more focused on my battle with Lewis. I didn’t mix the apex or anything, I went to attack Lewis and Oscar went to attack Lewis and me which in my opinion was a bit optimistic.” recommends

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But while he believes Piastri was to blame, his own team boss Fred Vasseur put the clash down to a racing incident.

“For me, it’s a racing incident,” said the Frenchman, “there were three or four cars next to each other.”

As for why they left Sainz out for 23 laps despite the notable damage, he explained: “We’re disappointed with Sainz. The contact in the first lap – we tried to go on. We expected a red flag but it didn’t come. Now it’s good to go into the holidays with a good result. ”

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