Ferrari to discuss financial compensation for Carlos Sainz FP1 incident in “private” with Liberty

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Photo credit: Scuderia Ferrari

According to Frédéric Vasseur there “will be a private discussion that I will have with the stakeholders of this” in regard to the damage on Carlos Sainz’s car, after he hit a metal water valve cover in FP1 of this weekend’s Las Vegas Grand Prix.

In a similar incident in Sepang in 2017, where Romain Grosjean hit a loose drain cover, financial compensation was negotioated with the organisers of the Malaysian Grand Prix. As the race is organised by Liberty Media and F1 themselves, this will be a discussion with one of his predecessors at Ferrari, Stefano Domenicali.

Aside from the obvious repairs, the Maranello based squad will have to fly in an additional chassis to Abu Dhabi for next weekend’s season finale. So the incident has an impact on the cost cap, something Vasseur confirms.

“There is no provision into the budget or cost cap, for excluding the crashes,” the French team principal explains. “For sure you have a lot of extra costs. The loom was damaged, the gearbox was damaged, the battery was damaged, the engine is dead.

“We have a lot of consequences on the financial side, on the sporting side, and even on the stock of spare parts, and on the budget side for sure it’s not an easy one.”

A discussion is being held whether costs like this can be excluded from the cost cap, but as Vasseur himself says: “There will be discussion. The decision, it’s another thing.”

The incident has spurred some discussion about the preparation and readiness of the track, but the handling of the incident itself is also under criticism from the Ferrari teamboss.

“We’d have to discuss about the circumstances of the incident also. Because it’s not just about the cover coming out, it’s also for me that we had one minute between the yellow flag and the red flag.

“It means that when they put the yellow flag that they saw something on track. And they took one minute before they put the red flag. I think it’s too much.”

Elaborating on the handling of the incident: “The main issue for me on this case is that when you put the first yellow flag it means that you saw something, you don’t put the yellow flag by anticipation.

“It means that the guy who put the yellow flag, and put the yellow flag also on my board, which is coming from the race control, it means that they saw something, and then they took one minute before they put the red flag, when it’s the straight line, and you have a metallic part, and you are at 340 kph.”

Esteban Ocon was the other driver involved in the incident, as he picked up damage after the red flag came out. According to Vasseur there was no indication to the teams what was the nature of the incident: “No, they didn’t speak at all. We didn’t know the reason for the yellow flag.”