Why Carlos Sainz is furious with the FIA over unacceptable behaviour

Carlos Sainz's fuel leak ahead of the Qatar GP was possibly caused by the aggressive kerbs.

Carlos Sainz was left furious with the FIA last Saturday morning at the Qatar Grand Prix, as the drivers arrived at the circuit completely unaware that changes had been made to the track.

Due to concerns raised by Pirelli following qualifying last Friday, the circuit was narrowed between Turns 12 and 13, to stop the drivers going over a kerb which were “killing” tyres.

This caught out several drivers during the sprint and the main race, with a ridiculous number of track limit penalties having been served out by the stewards.

Sainz didn’t even take part in Sunday’s race following a fuel leak, which was discovered last-minute by Ferrari.

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It wasn’t until they started to fill Sainz’s car up with petrol that they discovered a “very large” leak, with team principal Frederic Vasseur believing that it likely came from the aggressive kerbs.

“It was when we put the petrol in that the problem appeared, not before,” Vasseur told Sky Sports F1 on Sunday.

“You can say that we could have put the fuel in earlier but it doesn’t work that way. There definitely wasn’t enough time to change the tank. I honestly don’t know [why it happened], we need to investigate.

“There hasn’t been time to remove the tank yet, but probably yes [it’s due to the curbs], because the leak seems very large and therefore there is significant damage. It probably comes from yesterday’s last laps.”

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Sainz was due to start the race from 12th after he was eliminated in Q2, having struggled with the balance of his SF-23.

Nevertheless, his anger with the FIA will likely increase should the kerbs be to blame for his fuel leak, with the Spaniard insisting that things must change.

The drivers were furious to have found out about the overnight track changes from the media rather than the FIA themselves, especially as Sainz thinks the drivers’ opinion “should be considered” when making safety changes.

Ultimately, the 29-year-old appears to blame the governing body for the entire saga with the kerbs, with him noting that it was the FIA who wanted the specific type in the first place.

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“There has been a resurface, a redoing of the curbs, and for some reason, the FIA persisted with this design of curbs that is killing Pirelli tyres,” Sainz said last Saturday, as reported by The Express.

“I am not blaming Pirelli, but at the same time clearly there is something going on there. At the same time, we arrived here today in the morning, and we see the news in the press.

“Nobody informed us that there are going to be [changes] to track limits, and no one told us the tyres are delaminating or anything like that.

“We have to learn things from the press which is clearly not what or how things should be done.

“As GPDA we were not happy with the situation, and we hope that the collaboration starts getting better, because reading things from the press when safety is involved then our input should be considered, that is not good enough.”