After winning the Singapore Grand Prix, Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz became the only non-Red Bull driver to win a race in the entire 2023 Formula 1 calendar. The Prancing Horse team had a lackluster start to the season, they suffered from multiple crashes and penalties, including the ones during the recent races at Abu Dhabi and Las Vegas. However, they failed to overthrow Mercedes from the P2 spot.
At the end of the season, Sainz qualified in sixteenth place during the final race of the season at Yas Marina, a circumstance made worse by rivals hindering his last flying lap. After this disappointment, he understood he would have to work hard to get points in the following race on Sunday. As he started the race on the hard Pirelli tires, owing to a slow pace and poor strategy, he ended the race at 18th.
Hopefully they don’t take this clip down😭 pic.twitter.com/iuPx4DdH4y
— Swervin³² (@Swervin32_) November 26, 2023
His teammate, Charles Leclerc struggled till the end to gain some additional points that the team desperately needed to beat the Silver Arrows in the Constructors’ Championship. While the Monegasque was praised for his sportsmanship, Carlos Sainz was deemed to be the selfish one in the lot. At one point, when the race winner Max Verstappen fell behind the Spaniard, he had the perfect opportunity to hold him back for Leclerc.
The commentator, too, made a brutal comment, “He’s driving for himself and then the team.” Head of the team, Fred Vasseur voiced his disappointment that Sainz was unable to help Charles Leclerc chase down Mercedes for the second spot in the standings, emphasizing that the problem was not with his strategy but with his pace.
Carlos Sainz suspects foul play during qualifying at Abu Dhabi
Disappointed with his qualifying effort at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Carlos Sainz suggested that some of his fellow drivers had used unethical strategies to impede each other during the session. The Spaniard had a bad start to the qualifying round on Saturday and was eliminated in Q1. He made an effort but had no way to improve his lap time, leading to his elimination.
A big crash for Carlos Sainz due to dirty air ☹️
Glad that he is okay pic.twitter.com/o8gnTDH3Rl
— venkitraman (@wayneraman) November 24, 2023
As the session ended, while talking to the media, Carlos Sainz said, “We know that if you do a corner two seconds in front of another car, you’re going to make me lose a tenth or two in the corner. When it’s tight in Q1 and Q2, I see people giving a bit of third gear on purpose in some corners to maybe make the others lose some time in corners.”
He further added, “Which we don’t consider impeding because it’s not like you need to lift, but you’re giving him dirty air and you’re giving him a bad run in that corner.” He believed that the driver in front who kept a safe distance behind might purposefully impede the vehicle in front of it without getting in trouble for it.