LAS VEGAS — Sometimes life just is not fair. And neither is racing, it might seem. Following an eventful if short first free rehearsal by which Ferrari F1 driver Carlos Sainz hit a piece of metal (and/or concrete that was surrounding the metal) that had grow to be dislodged over a drain on the track surface in Las Vegas, the FIA ruled that Sainz can be required to drop 10 grid spaces at first of the particular Las Vegas Grand Prix Saturday evening.
While no person believes the incident was the fault of Ferrari or Sainz, the team and driver will indeed be penalized. Here’s why.
The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile, or FIA for brief, publishes just about all of its rules, regulations and rulings online to the general public. As an illustration, this page on the official FIA site includes links to download all the communications paperwork that goes backwards and forwards between the teams which are racing and the racing stewards which are applying the principles and regulations. One among those links, published at 43 minutes after midnight, indicates that the stewards sent this note to the Ferrari team:
“Throughout the first rehearsal, Automobile 55 was damaged as a consequence of a contact with a faulty drain. It seems that components that are restricted by the Formula One Sporting Regulations have to get replaced. This might potentially result in a breach of Article 28.2 the Formula One Sporting Regulations.”
Notice that the notification includes an admission that the damage was “as a consequence of contact with a faulty drain” but still goes on to say substitute of restricted components “could potentially result in a breach” of the regulations. Ferrari responded “requesting a derogation of the Sporting Regulations” — in plain terms, Ferrari asked for an exemption from the rule — but was denied.
A document published almost exactly an hour after the FIA initially contacted Ferrari requesting confirmation that it had found it essential to interchange restricted components said the next:
“Having received a report from the FIA Technical Delegate concerning Automobile 55 (Document 16) stating that the Survival Cell, Internal Combustion Engine, Energy Store and Control Electronics were damaged beyond repair following an impact with a foreign object; and
Having received a request from the Competitor requesting a derogation of the Sporting Regulations so as to allow a substitute of the Energy Store from outside the pool, without penalty; and
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 indisputable fact that the damage was brought on by highly unusual external circumstances, Article 2.1 of the Formula 1 Sporting Regulations obliges all officials, including the Stewards, to use the regulations as they’re written.
Accordingly, the mandatory penalty specified under Article 28.3 of the Sporting Regulations have to be applied.
The Stewards note that in the event that they had the authority to grant a derogation in what they consider on this case to be mitigating, unusual and unlucky circumstances, they might have done so, nonetheless the regulations don’t allow such motion.”
Article 2.1 of the Formula 1 Sporting Regulations reads as follows:
All drivers, Competitors and officials participating within the Championship undertake, on behalf of themselves, their employees, agents and suppliers, to look at all of the provisions as supplemented or amended of the International Sporting Code (the Code), the Formula One Technical Regulations (Technical Regulations), the Formula One Financial Regulations (Financial Regulations) and the current Formula One Sporting Regulations together known as “the Regulations.”
At 2:45 within the morning, one other report was issued by the FIA and delivered to Ferrari notifying them that “Article 28.2 of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations” had been breached and, because of this, Carlos Sainz can be hit with a “Drop of 10 grid positions for the subsequent Race by which the driving force participates.” Naturally, that next race can be the Las Vegas Grand Prix on Saturday evening.
Breaking it down in plain language, the stewards for the grand prix claim that the choice is out of their hands, that the rule is evident, and that the 10-position penalty is mandatory, despite the indisputable fact that it was the track surface itself that caused damage to Sainz’s Ferrari. Pics of debris from the damaged automotive will be see above left; crews fixing the track surface above right.
One other interesting point price noting is that the FIA Sporting Regulations also say that just one chassis will be used per day of testing or racing, but for the reason that incident that broke the Ferrari’s chassis happened in FP1 before midnight and the FP2 took place after midnight and due to this fact (barely) the next day, that rule was not applied and no further penalty was administered. The Alpine F1 team also benefited by the changing of the day having replaced driver Esteban Ocon’s chassis after he too collided with the water drain on the track. Because the Alpine team only replaced the chassis while Ferrari also had to interchange other parts of the automotive that included the energy store (the lithium-ion battery) and other engine components, only Ferrari was assessed additional penalties.
As you would possibly imagine, the Ferrari team and Sainz himself are none too pleased with the FIA’s ruling.
In a posting on his website, Sainz thanked the team for his or her efforts to rebuild his automotive so quickly. Indeed, it was mighty impressive to see Sainz back out in a red racing automotive just just a few short hours later through the second free rehearsal, and much more so to see how quick the automotive was on target in any case the work that went into putting it back together again. He added his frustration, saying, “On the negative side, we have now been given a 10-place penalty for Sunday after the manhole damaged, amongst other things, my battery and we had to interchange it. I truthfully cannot understand it and I believe an exemption to the rule must have been considered given what happened, but we’ll need to take care of it.”
A 3rd rehearsal is scheduled for tonight, November 17, at 11:30 p.m. Eastern. Qualifying begins shortly thereafter on November 18 at 3:00 a.m. Eastern (midnight in Vegas). The race is scheduled to start out at 1 a.m. on November 19 (10 p.m. on the 18th in Vegas). Stay tuned.
This Article First Appeared At www.autoblog.com