Carlos Sainz is set to receive a heavy grid drop for the Las Vegas
Grand Prix after Ferrari was forced to change parts following the
opening free practice session. Sainz drove across a loose manhole
cover in the opening minutes of the session which inflicted severe
damage on the Ferrari car. The session was subsequently abandoned
as a track inspection was carried out, with Alpine’s Esteban Ocon
also receiving damage. After the Survival Cell, Internal Combustion
Engine, Energy Store and Control Electronics were damaged beyond
repair, Ferrari requested dispensation as the changed parts were a
result of a fault with the track. Ferrari wished to replace the
parts with fresh components from outside the pool of the
penalty-free quota. However, the FIA has outlined that there is
nothing written in the regulations to allow the relevant components
to be changed without being penalised. A statement read: “Having
heard from the Team Representative, the Director FIA Single Seater
Department, having viewed video evidence and examined the Team’s
declaration sheet, the Stewards, determine that notwithstanding the
fact that the damage was caused by highly unusual external
circumstances, Article 2.1 of the Formula 1 Sporting Regulations
obliges all officials, including the Stewards, to apply the
regulations as they are written. “Accordingly, the mandatory
penalty specified under Article 28.3 of the Sporting Regulations
must be applied.” The Stewards added that if they had the authority
to implement different measures in “mitigating, unusual and
unfortunate circumstances”, they would have done so. Sainz will now
likely start the Las Vegas Grand Prix from the back of the field.
F1’s regulations state that the first time an additional element is
used, a driver gets a 10-place grid penalty, with the second time
being a five-place grid drop. The Spaniard has used a third Energy
Store of the two allowed, and is therefore set to take the 10 place

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