Ferrari driver, Carlos Sainz, ran over a metal water valve cover that had come loose on the track, destroying his chassis, power unit, and battery of his car. Because of the extent of damage and the precedent set by Haas at the 2017 Malaysian GP, Ferrari may well be seeking compensation.
When asked at the Vegas GP whether this was true, Ferrari team principal, Frederic Vasseur, said that it will be “a private discussion that I will have with the stakeholders of this.”
This means he will be talking to Liberty Media and F1, as the event was not promoted by a local entity.
The reason for this is that the crash was very costly and will have an impact on Ferrari’s budget cap.
“There is no provision into the budget or cost cap, for excluding the crashes,” Vasseur said. “For sure you have a lot of extra costs. The loom was damaged, the gearbox was damaged, the battery was damaged, the engine is dead.
“We have a lot of consequences on the financial side, on the sporting side, and even on the stock of spare parts, and on the budget side for sure it’s not an easy one.”
The Frenchman suggested that he would also be raising the subject of damage from similar incidents beyond the team’s control as being exempt from the cap.
That wasn’t the only thing Vasseur had beef with though as he took aim at the circumstances of the incident. In particular he questions the marshals on scene who showed a yellow flag but didn’t red flag the race until after Sainz had run over the loose cover. The argument being, had they called out the loose cover earlier, the damage could have been avoided.
“We’d have to discuss about the circumstances of the incident also,” he said. “Because it’s not just about the cover coming out, it’s also for me that we had one minute between the yellow flag and the red flag.
“It means that when they put the yellow flag that they saw something on track. And they took one minute before they put the red flag. I think it’s too much.
“The main issue for me on this case is that when you put the first yellow flag it means that you saw something, you don’t put the yellow flag by anticipation.
“It means that the guy who put the yellow flag, and put the yellow flag also on my board, which is coming from the race control, it means that they saw something, and then they took one minute before they put the red flag, when it’s the straight line, and you have a metallic part, and you are at 340 kph.”
He also confirmed that the teams were not told the reason for the initial yellow flag, therefore they couldn’t warn the drivers about the obstacle.