Carlos Sainz braced for another penalty due to Ferrari blunder

There was thankfully no contact between Carlos Sainz and Valtteri Bottas during final practice in Italy.

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz is not a million miles away from a grid penalty after he picked up his fourth reprimand of the season at the 2022 Italian Grand Prix.

Yuki Tsunoda came into the weekend with a 10-place penalty after picking up his fifth of the year in the Netherlands last weekend following his bizarre retirement from the race.

Part of that was on his AlphaTauri team but, nonetheless, with penalties already in tow, the Japanese driver chose to take a new power unit too.

Sainz was previously given reprimands in Bahrain, Melbourne and Monaco, all of which were a result of impeding other drivers during practice sessions.

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On Saturday morning, Sainz was not sure where Valtteri Bottas wanted to go behind him, so he awkwardly slowed down in the middle of the track, causing the Finn to lock up and take to the escape road.

The 27-year-old was looked at by the stewards as a result, and they decided to give him a warning for his troubles.

They also noted that Ferrari didn’t adequately warn Sainz about the approaching Bottas.

The 13-time podium finisher is now one reprimand away from a 10-place grid penalty, and he is already taking penalties this weekend.

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Sainz added a new power unit to his pool, sending him to the back of the grid for Sunday’s race in Monza.

It was thought that he would therefore give team-mate Charles Leclerc a slipstream to help the 24-year-old grab pole, but he did not need it.

Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez both have penalties too so, regardless of what they did, it was almost certain that Leclerc would have pole, and he duly took it ahead of Verstappen and Sainz.

After the session, the 27-year-old suggested that the absence of a tow on his final run his him a chance at taking P1 on Saturday.

“It was honestly a very good quali session,” said Sainz.

READ: Carlos Sainz braced for penalty as he’ll run more powerful, lighter Ferrari engine

“I was feeling very well, and I was pushing flat-out through Q1, Q2. In Q3, the only issue is that in Q3, I didn’t have a tow which probably cost me two or three tenths to battle for pole position.

“But I’m starting last anyway tomorrow, so it’s not like it changes my life, but yeah, very good lap, I had to take a lot of risks to compensate for the lack of tow.

“I was quicker in every corner but slower in every straight, so in the end I couldn’t improve much.”