Renault-rivals unhappy with Sainz-penalty

22-10-2018 15:56
by Nicolás Quarles van Ufford
Renault-rivals unhappy with Sainz-penalty

Haas F1 and Force India have been left very frustrated at the FIA's leniency with Carlos Sainz, as the Spaniard got a five-second penalty during the USA Grand Prix for gaining an advantage after exceeding track-limits.

Sainz started 11th for Renault but managed to finish best of the rest in sixth, even though he took a five-second penalty at his first pit stop.

The penalty was given to the Madrilean as he ran wide in the first turn of the race. He used the run-off area to get past the Force India and Haas drivers. The penalty didn't cost him any positions in the end. Haas team principal Guenther Steiner complained that the stewards took way too long to award the penalty to the Renault driver.

"Our team manager will bring it to the Sporting Working Group," Steiner was quoted by Autosport.

"You cut the corner, take an advantage, and then it takes five laps to realise that somebody did something, it takes another five laps [to make a decision] - and you are gone by then because everybody's stuck.

"Then they give you five seconds, which means nothing, because you're gone - it's wrong.

"If you're clever enough, and some people are clever enough to play this as a strategy, just cut it [the corner] knowing that you get five seconds, and try to drag it out."

Force India team principal Otmar Szafnauer agreed that the penalty for Sainz was too light as he gained a lot with the manoeuvre.

"He braked really late, and the fact that he went off the track to overtake everybody, and he got a five-second penalty, isn't really commensurate with what he did.

"It's not in line with the regulations. It should have been a stop-and-go or 10 seconds if he doesn't give the place back."

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