F1 preview: A lap of the Monaco Grand Prix
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Carlos Sainz has added to the recent widespread criticism of the FIA by slamming the governing body’s inconsistent decision-making process over the course of last weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix. The Ferrari driver’s comments arrive in the midst of a storm that appears to be brewing between the FIA and Formula One bosses, with the idea of a potential future split having been mooted over the last few weeks.
A number of teams in the paddock are believed to be siding with Lewis Hamilton amid his ongoing row with the FIA over drivers wearing jewellery when behind the wheel. The governing body’s crackdown on the matter has been met with fierce opposition over the last few weeks due to the widely-held belief that drivers should be allowed to wear what they want.
Meanwhile, plenty of high-profile figures have hit out at the FIA during the early stages of the new season, with reports having suggested that many are becoming ‘deeply dissatisfied’ with its handling of the on-track proceedings. Sainz has since added further fuel to the fire by accusing the organisation of failing to apply enough consistency after he was fined for impeding Lance Stroll in FP3 while Alex Albon escaped punishment despite holding up Charles Leclerc under blue flags during the race.
“I can’t count how many times I was stopped in Monaco this weekend, whether I was dangerous or not,” the Spaniard told Motorsport.com. “What I don’t understand is why we had to pay 25,000 euros as a team for an obstruction.
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“I accepted the blame and apologised to Lance, but I don’t understand why other cases weren’t investigated and why other drivers weren’t fined for doing the exact same thing.
“We were wronged and no action was taken. So that’s where we want more clarity and more consistency, it’s as simple as that.”
Sainz’s comments were later echoed by Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto, who insisted that his driver took every precaution to avoid holding up Stroll on a circuit that is notorious for causing traffic to build up during practice and qualifying sessions.
“We know that the traffic situation in Monaco is always very difficult,” explained Binotto. “We did everything we could, we believe that the obstruction that he did was not dangerous.
“We are not happy with the fine, we believe that it was not the right choice, because we believe that the team and the driver did everything possible to avoid it at that time and not do anything wrong.”
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