Carlos Sainz Jnr, Ferrari, Monaco, 2022

Ferrari fined €25,000 after “grossly incorrect” radio messages led to near-miss

2022 Monaco Grand Prix

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The Monaco Grand Prix stewards have fined Ferrari €25,000 (£21,240) and handed Carlos Sainz Jnr a reprimand after an “unacceptable” impeding incident in practice.

Sainz impeded the Aston Martin of Lance Stroll at the final corner of Anthony Noghes around 21 minutes into the final hour of practice. Stroll was completing a push lap when he passed Yuki Tsunoda’s AlphaTauri exiting the Rascasse corner, before having to back off to avoid hitting Sainz into the final corner, who was preparing to launch on a push lap of his own.

After investigating, the stewards handed Ferrari an unusually severe fine of €25,000 and giving Sainz a reprimand for the incident.

The panel of stewards explained that Sainz had been given “a series of grossly incorrect messages, by radio, about the gaps to the cars behind” by his Ferrari team prior to the incident.

“It is unclear to the stewards why such misleading information was given to the driver, who was under the impression that there was no car immediately behind him,” the stewards continued. “Due to the poor rear visibility at that part of the circuit, the driver was relying entirely on the team’s messages.”

Despite having not been given sufficient information from his team, Sainz was also reprimanded for driving too slowly before he was caught by Stroll.

“Notwithstanding the above, it was noted that the driver of car 55 [Sainz] almost came to a stop on the circuit,” said the stewards. “This is unacceptable and hence the penalty of a reprimand is imposed.”

Sainz was also involved in another incident Sainz and Sebastian Vettel approaching the Casino Square, where Sainz was considered to be driving “slower that can be considered reasonable in view of the location and circumstances” by the stewards and leaving Vettel irate over team radio. This second incident was not officially investigated by the stewards.

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Ahead of the upcoming qualifying session that “similar behaviour by any driver during qualification may involve much more severe penalties”. Sainz’s reprimand is his third driving related reprimand of the 2022 season, leaving him two away from an automatic 10-place grid penalty.

The stewards also fined Alfa Romeo €10,000 (£8,500) after Zhou Guanyu was found to have impended Max Verstappen. The stewards noted his team advised him he was about to be passed by Nicholas Latifi, but not the Red Bull driver. Zhou was also given a formal warning.

“The team advised the driver of the approach of car six [Latifi] but made no mention of car one [Verstappen],” the stewards explained. “The driver of car 24 [Zhou] appropriately let car six pass, but being unaware of the approach of car one also approaching, unnecessarily impeded that car,” the stewards noted.

“The team admitted it was at fault and taking into consideration the lack of rearward visibility in various parts of this circuit, the stewards impose the lesser penalty of a formal Warning on the driver.

“As previously noted, the stewards stress the importance of accurate and swift communication between the teams and their drivers, and note that drivers must exercise care in where they position their cars, and their respective speeds, during qualification.”

The stewards explained a lesser fine was handed down in comparison to the Sainz incident “because in this case there was a lack of information, in the former case the was significant wrong information.”

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2022 Monaco Grand Prix

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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10 comments on “Ferrari fined €25,000 after “grossly incorrect” radio messages led to near-miss”

  1. It’s way past time they removed the radios from the equation and let the drivers take responsibility for this.
    I’ll bet they’d be driving a lot faster when and where they can’t see behind them.
    And if they got hit while driving too slow – there would be no excuses for the stewards in regard to driving unnecessarily slowly, or for their team in regard to their broken car.

    1. You prefer them to drive slowly in the tunnel or after the chicane? There is no place, except the main straight, where visibility isn’t an issue, and with 20 cars on track (on a 1’20” lap) a driver needs to create a gap before push laps. Add to that the need to bring the tire temperatures in a window, and the maths get complicated. In the past, teams used spotters, now they use radio to keep the drivers up to date.

      1. You prefer them to drive slowly in the tunnel or after the chicane?

        No. I prefer them to not drive slowly.

        and with 20 cars on track (on a 1’20” lap) a driver needs to create a gap before push laps.

        No they don’t. They want to.

        Add to that the need to bring the tire temperatures in a window

        You’ve confused need and want again.

  2. Sainz has been doing this in all practice and q sessions, driving at snail’s pace through corners. Spending so long on out laps is always going to leave you at risk of impeding. After this he impeded Norris during Q.

  3. to this day I still don’t understand how they decide to write the car’s number in letters or with the actual number…
    it’s been years

    1. Common practice that numbers 1-9 are written as words, whilst 10 onwards are written as numbers.

      So:

      One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14… etc

    2. @alfa145 It depends on the style guide they’ve adopted but if they are using the AP Style Guide, numbers between zero and nine are spelled out. Numbers 10 or greater are written with numerals. They would also start sentences with spelled out numbers instead of numerals if they use the AP Style Guide.

      https://getproofed.com/writing-tips/everything-you-need-to-know-about-numbers-in-ap-style/

      1. thanks @g-funk, that makes little sense to me, but at least is consistent with what I read on the article

    3. Normally when mentioning numbers in written text you spell them out if it’s a nice and short word, but use numeral digits if it would be a longer word. So I think all single-digit numbers are ok to write as words, probably also “eleven” and “twelve”. But you don’t write for example “fifty-five” or “twenty-seven”, you use 55 and 27. It’s not just in F1 stewarding, it’s for all uses of numbers in text.

  4. Norman Little
    31st May 2022, 6:08

    Why did Verstapen not receive a penalty for crossing the line when leaving the pit lane. It was plain to see and commented on by race commentators.

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