Did Carlos Sainz stop his rival Lance Stroll in the boxing alley? The race commissioners had to answer this question after the Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi. The answer was positive for the Spaniard: the McLaren pilot has no punishment to expect from the incident.
A scene from the series of pit stops during the virtual safety car was investigated when McLaren ordered both pilots to change tires. It is said that Sainz has been slow in making the pit entrance to give his team enough buffer to stop Lando Norris.
I don’t know why there is an investigation,”says Sainz.”I don’t know why there is an investigation.” I don’t think there’s any problem. I was just being careful because there was chaos in the boxing alley because of the many cars. I have not done anything that I have not done in many races before.”
He did not want to create a traffic jam.” And if I had stood up for Norris, then I would have created a traffic jam for Red Bull, and that would have been worse for the entire boxing alley,”he defends himself. I haven’t been needlessly slow- absolutely not. I did what was best for safety in the boxing alley.”
Commissioners: Only 0,6 seconds lost in time
The Commissioners agreed after hearing McLaren’s opinion and did not impose a penalty. The grounds of the judgment say: “Auto 55 (Sainz; Amen. d. Red.) was told by his team that when approaching the boxing lane two,4 seconds before car 18 (Stroll; Note.”
“When approaching the beginning of the boxing alley, car 55 has accelerated as usual and then slightly delayed before the line to less than 80 km/h and then accelerated again to 80. In the boxing alley, car 55 has always driven 80 km/h, except for about five seconds, when it was not below 70 km/h.”
“We estimate that car 55 arrived at the boxing stop about 0.6 seconds later, as if it had kept the speed of 80 km/h. Therefore, we do not believe that the behavior was there to prevent a double stack as car 4 (Norris; Note.) had already cleared the boxing area.”
“We also accept the statement of the driver of Auto 55 that he had been careful because the video recordings prove, that a lot of staff from other teams had stayed in the boxing alley at the time.”
“Auto 18 could keep its speed from 80 km/h in the boxing alley, except for a very short time (estimated one second). Therefore, we do not see that it was fundamentally influenced by the behaviour of the driver of car 55.”
Stroll himself admits: Not really lost time
Stroll himself admits after the race that the incident in the boxing alley did not really cost him time.” There was a safety car, so he did what he just did,”the Canadian takes it.
In the end, Sainz landed in an event-poor race on the rank six, although he had calculated more from his start on the media tires.”He was a very good driver. But that didn’t work out,”says the Spaniard. The medium was as bad or worse than the soft one. He had already had from Qualifying Graining.”
“Apart from that we had a good pit stop, then I had to overtake a few Ferraris, which cost the tires a bit of life. And then I just brought it home,”he summarises his race.”I’m sorry. It was a well-executed race in which nothing special happened.”