Carlos Sainz fires sly jibe at Oscar Piastri

Oscar Piastri and Carlos Sainz both retired from the 2023 Belgian GP due to damage.

Carlos Sainz has admitted that he “didn’t expect” Oscar Piastri to try and overtake him at the opening corner on Sunday, at the Belgian Grand Prix.

Piastri saw a gap on Sainz’s inside at the opening corner and went for it, only for the space to suddenly close as the Ferrari driver turned for Turn 1.

Heavy contact was made as a result, with Piastri having gone on to retire halfway round the opening lap.

Sainz, too, had significant damage to his SF-23, which he tried to nurse.

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However, Ferrari opted to retire the Spaniard from the race just after half-distance, as he was tumbling down the order due to the damage sustained to his car.

Sainz’s car had a hole in its right-sidepod, a similar sort of damage which caused Sergio Perez to retire from Saturday’s sprint race at Spa-Francorchamps.

Speaking after his retirement, Sainz took aim at the McLaren driver and put all the blame on him, for making an “inexperience mistake”.

“I was on the attack with Lewis and went to pass him into Turn 1 and I think I pretty much had the move done and suddenly I received a bit of contact on my rear-right by Oscar,” Sainz told Sky Sports F1.

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“Obviously, honestly, I didn’t expect him to go and choose to be three into Turn 1.

“My opinion if you want to know, I’ve been racing at Spa for seven, eight years and everyone who has tried that move on the inside has generated a bit of a crash when you look at the past starts here. That’s normally the case.

“So maybe it’s a bit of an inexperience mistake.

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“I didn’t expect him there. I did at one point see he was from the wall pretty much but honestly, I was more focused on my battle with Lewis. I didn’t mix the apex or anything, I went to attack Lewis and Oscar went to attack Lewis and me which in my opinion was a bit optimistic.”

Despite Sainz being convinced that Piastri was at fault, Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur labelled the collision as a “racing incident”.

“For me, it’s a racing incident,” said Vasseur, “there were three or four cars next to each other.”