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Sainz ‘struggles to understand’ why he got penalty when Perez didn’t

Carlos Sainz Jnr has questioned why he was penalised in the Miami Grand Prix while Sergio Perez escaped punishment for a similar incident.

Perez had a near-miss with his team mate Max Verstappen at the start of the last race when he ran wide at the first corner. He held up Sainz and Lando Norris as he went off the track.

While he avoided a penalty for losing control of his car, Sainz was penalised when his Ferrari got away from him while he was battling Oscar Piastri late in the race. The pair made contact and Piastri was forced to pit with a broken front wing.

Sainz said the two incidents were similar errors which were only treated different because of the consequences they had for those involved.

“I struggle to understand it sometimes,” said the Ferrari driver. “At the start Checo went completely long, lost control of the car, nearly took two guys out. We just were lucky, in a way, to avoid him.

“He went off the track at the start and there wasn’t a consequence, there was no contact or anything, but it cost [me] a lot [in] my race, it cost a lot [for] other people… and he didn’t get a penalty.

“I lost minimal control of the car overtaking Oscar, I unfortunately damaged his front wing, he obviously went backwards 15 positions and I got a five-second penalty.”

Sainz believes that as Perez didn’t get a penalty, he shouldn’t have either, as the stewards have previously claimed they don’t take the consequence of an incident into consideration when imposing a penalty.

“I know we keep thinking we don’t look at the outcome of the [incident]. In this case I think clearly we’re still looking at the outcome because I’m completely certain that if the front wing of Oscar wouldn’t have had to pit, I would not have got a penalty and everyone would be talking about a good overtake and some good action on a track where it proved to be extremely difficult to overtake and you had to go for a move like that.

“But on the other hand Checo didn’t touch anyone, we all managed to avoid him and there was no penalty. So in my opinion, the consequence is still having a bit of an effect on the penalty that you get, which is something that I don’t fully share or I’m still a bit puzzled about and I struggle with sometimes.”

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2024 Miami Grand Prix

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