Ferrari asked the stewards to let them replace Sainz’s power unit components without incurring a penalty after his car was badly damaged after running over a loose manhole cover during FP1. 

Despite their best efforts, Ferrari’s request was not granted by the FIA, leaving Sainz facing a controversial 10-place grid penalty for exceeding his energy store allocation. 

Sainz qualified second behind Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc but will now drop to 12th on the grid for the race. 

After qualifying, the Spaniard made his frustrations very clear and even insinuated that pressure from rival teams ultimately led to his penalty. 

“There was clearly a safety issue at the track,” Sainz said in the post-qualifying press conference. “That issue destroyed my car. My mechanics have to invest five hours in putting together a completely new car.

“On top of that we get a 10-place grid penalty for something that we have nothing to do for. I’m just simply disappointed. At the same time, I’m not surprised, because there’s been many cases this year that I think the sport has proven that it can do things a lot better.

“I’m surprised that the governing body doesn’t have the power to, in cases of force majeure, to overrule a bit in this kind of situation where it’s so clear that it’s something that is completely out of the team’s control, completely out of the driver’s control.

“The rules, the governing body, the teams – I don’t know, I expected more from the sport in this situation.

“For sure there will be rival teams pushing for me to get a penalty which surprises me in a way. In another [way], I’ve been in the sport for too long to understand that this business… there’s too much money involved in the finishing position in the constructors’ or whatever for a team not to threaten to apply for a penalty for me.

“At the same time, as I said, I’m not surprised. I’m extremely disappointed and honestly I’m very just upset with the whole situation, with the sport, honestly. Upset, I think is the right word and in a bad mood because I just expected more from the sport in this case.”

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen argued that teams “should not be allowed to have a say” and believes changes to F1’s rules are needed. 

"The rules have to change for that," the triple world champion said. 

"It's the same if you get taken out and have a big accident. You can lose parts of engine, energy store, all these kind of things.

"So first of all that needs to change and these things can be taken into consideration that you can take a free penalty or not, it will not be counted.

"Besides, I think teams should not be allowed to have a say in these kind of things because for sure they are going to vote against that. 

“I do think it's very harsh on Carlos but in this political environment we are in of course every team thinks about themselves and they are going to say 'no, he has to take the penalty’”.