Ferrari could potentially miss this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, should competing in the event put them at risk of exceeding the 2023 budget cap.
The concern comes following last weekend’s Las Vegas Grand Prix, where Ferrari were forced to change several key parts of Carlos Sainz’s car, after he hit a loose manhole cover in Free Practice 1.
Sainz hit the loose manhole cover just eight minutes into the opening session of the weekend, which was then cancelled as a result.
F1 and the FIA wanted time to check all 40 manhole covers, to ensure that what happened to Sainz wouldn’t happen again.
Sainz’s car was a complete mess inside, with team principal Frederic Vasseur having revealed the extent of the damage.
“The loom was damaged, the gearbox was damaged, the battery was damaged, the engine is dead,” Vasseur revealed to the media, as reported by FormulaNerds.com.
To add to Ferrari’s misery, Sainz was slapped with a 10-place grid penalty for having a new battery fitted, as this went outside of his allocation.
Ferrari argued that a grid penalty shouldn’t have been necessary, as it wasn’t the Maranello-based team’s fault that the new parts were needed.
Fitting the new parts comes at a cost for the team, as they’ll need to spend money on new parts.
The extent of the damage would’ve cost the Italians a fortune, with Vasseur having admitted that he’ll talk to the stakeholders of the Las Vegas GP to get them to cover the cost of the repairs, as they were caused by an issue with the circuit.
“This will be a private discussion that I will have with the stakeholders of this event,” Vasseur insisted.
“There is no provision into the budget or cost cap, for excluding the crashes. For sure you have a lot of extra costs… 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.”
Ferrari’s big concern is the impact Sainz’s incident could have on their 2023 budget, with Vasseur admitting that the team already don’t have “much room to play with”.
If the overall repair cost is too big and too big of a risk to the budget cap, then Ferrari could miss the season finale.
“It’s true also that if we have to adjust the budget cap, our whole cost, at least between now and the end of the season, we don’t have so much room to play with, or we miss Abu Dhabi,” Vasseur admitted.