Ferrari denied penalty-free repairs as Sainz gets Las Vegas grid drop

Carlos Sainz is set for a grid drop at the F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix after the stewards rejected a request from Ferrari to make penalty-free changes. 
The Ferrari SF-23 of Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP
The Ferrari SF-23 of Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP

Ferrari requested a derogation of the regulations to take a fresh engine out of Sainz’s allocation without a grid penalty after his car was heavily damaged when he ran over a loose water valve cover in FP1. 

However, Ferrari’s request was denied, with the FIA stewards outlining that the sporting regulations must be applied despite the “highly unusual and unfortunate circumstances.” 

Ferrari have been forced to change the survival cell as well as fitting a new internal combustion engine, energy store and control electronics to Sainz’s car after it was damaged beyond repair. 

The FIA have confirmed Sainz has been handed a 10-place grid penalty for Sunday's race. 

“Having received a report from the FIA Technical Delegate concerning Car 55 (Document 16) stating that the Survival Cell, Internal Combustion Engine, Energy Store and Control Electronics were damaged beyond repair following an impact with a foreign object,” the stewards noted. 

"Having received a request from the Competitor requesting a derogation of the Sporting Regulations in order to allow a replacement of the Energy Store from outside the pool, without penalty; and Having heard from the Team Representative, the Director FIA Single Seater Department, having viewed video evidence and examined the Team’s declaration sheet, the Stewards, determine that notwithstanding the fact that the damage was caused by highly unusual external circumstances, Article 2.1 of the Formula 1 Sporting Regulations obliges all officials, including the Stewards, to apply the regulations as they are written. 

“Accordingly, the mandatory penalty specified under Article 28.3 of the Sporting Regulations must be applied. 

"The Stewards note that if they had the authority to grant a derogation in what they consider in this case to be mitigating, unusual and unfortunate circumstances, they would have done so, however the regulations do not allow such action.”

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