FIA punish Ferrari for ‘misleading’ Sainz in Monaco

The stewards were not impressed with Ferrari in the slightest after they misled Carlos Sainz ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix.

The stewards have fined Ferrari 25,000 euros for the “grossly incorrect messages” they gave to Carlos Sainz during practice ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix.

Most of the corners around the streets of Monaco are blind, so the drivers rely heavily on their teams to give them the correct information at all times as to why is close behind them on track when they are on slow laps.

Sainz was moving slowly going through La Rascasse during final practice on Saturday morning when Lance Stroll came up behind him, and was impeded by the Spaniard.

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Having listened back to the 27-year-old’s team radio, they stewards found that there had been “a series of grossly incorrect messages, by radio, about the gaps to the cars behind” by Ferrari, who were criticised for telling their driver that no one was approaching him.

“It is unclear to the stewards why such misleading information was given to the driver, who was under the impression that there was no car immediately behind him,” they added.

“Due to the poor rear visibility at that part of the circuit, the driver was relying entirely on the team’s messages.”

However, Sainz himself was not safe from the stewards’ wrath, as he was reprimanded for driving unnecessarily slowly when Stroll caught up with him.

“Notwithstanding the above, it was noted that the driver of car 55 [Sainz] almost came to a stop on the circuit,” they explained.

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“This is unacceptable and hence the penalty of a reprimand is imposed.”

The Scuderia were fined as a result, but Sainz’s eventful session was not done there.

He later drove slowly on the racing line heading into Massenet, forcing Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel to take avoiding action, and he exclaimed “they can’t do that!” over the radio.

While the stewards chose not to give that one an investigation, they noted that the Spaniard was driving “slower that can be considered reasonable in view of the location and circumstances.”

They also warned that “similar behaviour by any driver during qualification may involve much more severe penalties.”

The rampage continued as Zhou Guanyu was found to have held up Max Verstappen, and Alfa Romeo were fined 10,000 euros.

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The reason for the lighter fine for the Swiss team was that they did not give the Chinese rookie the wrong information per se, they just failed to give him any information on Verstappen at all.

“The team advised the driver of the approach of car six [Latifi] but made no mention of car one [Verstappen],” said the stewards. 

“The driver of car 24 [Zhou] appropriately let car six pass, but being unaware of the approach of car one also approaching, unnecessarily impeded that car.

“The team admitted it was at fault and taking into consideration the lack of rearward visibility in various parts of this circuit, the stewards impose the lesser penalty of a formal Warning on the driver.

“As previously noted, the stewards stress the importance of accurate and swift communication between the teams and their drivers, and note that drivers must exercise care in where they position their cars, and their respective speeds, during qualification.”

Sainz later qualified second after being collected by Sergio Perez at the end of Q3, securing P3 for the Mexican on Sunday, while Ferrari locked out the front row for the second time in 2022 following a dominant performance by Charles Leclerc.