Carlos Sainz gets publicly scolded by the FIA after breaking rule

Carlos Sainz finished the 2022 season in fifth, narrowly holding off a late charge from Lewis Hamilton to defend his top five finish.

Ferrari’s 2022 season would have taken a lot out of their drivers, as both Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc were forced to watch reliability issues and strategic blunders derail their title challenges.

On a personal note, last year was a positive one for Sainz because despite some periods of awful luck, the Spaniard secured his first pole position and first win in Formula 1 at Silverstone.

With preparations for the 2023 season set to ramp up in the coming weeks, which will see the Ferrari drivers forced to adapt to Fred Vasseur’s leadership following the resignation of Mattia Binotto, both drivers would have been hoping for a relaxing winter break.

Sainz has landed himself in hot water however, as his actions at the famous Dakar Rally, where his father Carlos Sainz Snr is competing, nearly got him in a whole world of trouble.

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While his father was competing for Audi, footage was posted to social media by the Ferrari driver showing him overlooking Sainz snr and his co-pilot Lucas Cruz as they attempt to repair their RS Q E-Tron car which was suffering from a left-rear brake problem.

While everything appears to be fine with this footage, the clip posted by Sainz ends with him closing the door of the car behind his father and he and Cruz clamber back into their Audi to continue the race.

Unfortunately for Sainz, Article 49.2.1 of the rules state that “The presence of team personnel or any team conveyance (including helicopters) is prohibited within one kilometre of its competing vehicle.”

These regulations suggest that Sainz shutting the door for his father means he interfered with proceedings and therefore he was clearly within a kilometre of the vehicle.

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Luckily for the Formula 1 driver, who would have hoped for a less stressful summer trip, the FIA accepted Audi’s protest, who claimed that Sainz was not a part of the official team and therefore was not acting out the will of the team with his actions.

“There is no evidence confirming a violation of the regulations in a legal sense,” said the stewards after hearing Audi’s argument.

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“The behaviour of all members of the motorsport community should not raise any doubts.

“Of particular importance is the fact that very well-known people in motorsport set an example for everyone else.”

Having shown in 2022 that he can match his teammate Charles Leclerc, Sainz will be hoping that Vasseur’s reign can give him the opportunity to challenge for the first title of his F1 career.