Spiky Fred Vasseur declares Carlos Sainz is ‘f*****’ after ‘unacceptable’ manhole incident

Michelle Foster
Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz looking at the damaged floor on his SF-23.

Carlos Sainz's Ferrari needed a new chassis, floor, battery and engine.

A visibly livid Fred Vasseur asked to leave Thursday’s FIA press conference, wanting to be anywhere else after Carlos Sainz’s Thursday was “f***** up” when a drain cover destroyed his Ferrari.

Lapping the new Las Vegas circuit, Sainz was heading down the road known as the Strip when he seemed to hit a bump and bottomed out in a massive shower of sparks.

The driver groaned in pain as he came down hard with the FIA later revealing he had hit a concrete frame around a manhole cover that had failed.

Carlos Sainz won’t be on the track for FP2

As the Spaniard’s Ferrari was returned to the pits on the back of a truck the extensive damage began to come to light.

While initially it was thought it was the floor, Ferrari team boss Vasseur says the chassis was also broken as was the battery and the engine. Photos on social media show the floor was not just broken, it was shattered.

The damage not only means Sainz will not be on the track for FP2 but in a budget cap year it was a costly incident for Ferrari that Vasseur has called “unacceptable”.

“What he said is that I think I hit something on track and he didn’t know exactly what it was,” he said.

“The situation is that we damage completely the monocoque, the engine, the battery. I think it’s just unacceptable.”

Told to look at the ‘bigger picture’ by host Tom Clarkson, the team boss interrupted: “I hope this is a good one, I don’t need to have a bigger picture.”

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Clarkson pressed on asking him to talk about what the Las Vegas GP means for Ferrari to which Vasseur said: “I’m not sure that is the topic for me today.

“We had a very tough FP1 one that will cost us a fortune. We fucked up the session for Carlos.

“We won’t be part of the FP2 for sure because we change the chassis of the car. Okay, the show is the show and everything is going well but I think it’s just unacceptable for the F1 today.”

With Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff weighing in, warning his good friend that he doesn’t want to say something he’ll regret, Vasseur replied: “Toto, but you would be upset in my situation.”

The Ferrari team boss promptly asked, “Can I leave now?” before telling Clarkson to ask “Toto about something” as he was done.

The FIA has since confirmed Sainz will have the ICE, Energy story [battery] and control electronics changed as well as a new chassis.

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