Why F1 stewards failed to penalize Sainz and Leclerc in Monza qualifying

Why F1 stewards failed to penalize Sainz and Leclerc in Monza qualifying

F1 stewards determined that Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc did not drive “unnecessarily slowly” in their Italian Grand Prix qualifying investigation.

Ferrari drivers Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc were found not to have driven “unnecessarily slowly” during qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix, according to Formula 1 stewards.

The Monza spectators had been anticipating a shock Ferrari comeback, and they got it when Carlos Sainz edged Red Bull driver Max Verstappen for pole, with the latter being the favorite to secure the top slot.

After Q1, both Ferrari drivers were warned for failing to adhere to the race director’s instructions at Monza, where race director Niels Wittich had instructed all drivers to avoid risky backing up into the Parabolica corner, which had been observed throughout practice.

The stewards gave an explanation for their decision to take no further action after Sainz went on to win the pole position and Leclerc finished third less than a tenth behind the leading Ferrari.

According to investigations, Sainz and Leclerc “stayed at or above speeds necessary to stay below 1:41.000 around the vast majority of the circuit and especially on the straights,” the stewards concluded after an examination,

Both drivers “took appropriate actions” to avoid impeding other cars, allowing four cars to pass and giving them a clear track.

Both drivers “did not drive unnecessarily slowly,” according to the stewards, and the reasons why they both missed the 1:41.000 mark were “due to their appropriate actions.”

Ferrari boss Frederic Vasseur also gave additional explanations on why Carlos Sainz was not stripped of pole position despite being accused of ignoring the race director’s instructions.

“No further action, it’s done,” Speaking to Sky Sports after the session, Ferrari team principal Vasseur said. “By regulation, you are allowed to exceed [the minimum lap time] if you slow down to let someone go [first], and that’s what happened.”

Italian Grand Prix pole winner Carlos Sainz added more detail as he too was questioned on the matter in the post-session press conference.

“I had to slow down so much to not impede other cars that were on fastest laps, so it was almost impossible to respect the delta that the race director gave us,” he said.

“If I would have respected it, I would have impeded my competitors, so I just played it safe and preferred not to impede anyone.

“Even if I was one or two seconds off the delta, I think that’s safer than impeding someone.”

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