Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz was hit with a penalty for an unsafe release during the Dutch Grand Prix on Sunday, but the Spaniard completely disagrees with the decision. All in all, Ferrari’s pit crew had a disastrous time at Zandvoort.
Sainz’s first pit stop was embarrassing as Ferrari’s crew wasn’t prepared, leaving the car sitting stationary for almost 13 seconds waiting for a new rear left tire. When Sainz did get on his way, a wheel gun was left unattended and was run over by Red Bull’s Sergio Perez.
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The next pit stop didn’t go any better for Sainz and Ferrari.
Ferrari’s crew managed to change tires in a speedy time, but Sainz was released from his box directly into the path of Alpine’s Fernando Alonso. Sainz was handed a five-second penalty, which ultimately cost him three places before finishing eighth on Sunday.
He thought the penalty was “a joke” because he had to avoid a McLaren mechanic during the pit exit as well.
“I saw it in the car, by the time they released me it was clearly safe with Fernando but then I had to hit the brakes to not hit the McLaren mechanic who ran in my exit line,” a frustrated Sainz told the media.
“It was this braking that generated the unsafe release – if you can call it unsafe because I was clearly frustrated by it. I thought I had saved someone’s life and not generated a dangerous situation.”
“The problem was this McLaren mechanic with a jack that ran into my driving line, I had to brake and I didn’t get my pit exit right. Is it my fault? Is it my team’s fault? No.”
Sainz went on to suggest Alonso ensured he was given a penalty saying the Alpine racer hit him because he had to brake to avoid hitting the McLaren mechanic.
Sainz currently sits fifth in the Formula One standings while teammate Charles Leclerc is second behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who won on Sunday afternoon.