Sainz Faces Setback in Las Vegas F1 with 10-Place Grid Drop

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In an unexpected turn of events during the first practice session of the Las Vegas Grand Prix, Carlos Sainz, driving for Ferrari, faced a significant setback. A collision with a drain cover not only halted his session but also triggered a sequence of events that led to a 10-place grid drop for the upcoming race.

Unfortunate Circumstances Unfold:

Sainz’s misfortune struck early in the Thursday evening session at the newly constructed Las Vegas Strip Circuit. The impact with a drain cover caused damage not only to the engine but also to crucial components such as the Energy Store and Control Electronics, in addition to affecting the survival cell.

Ferrari’s Plea Denied:

In an attempt to mitigate the penalty, Ferrari submitted a request to the stewards seeking a ‘derogation of the Sporting Regulations.’ The request aimed to allow the replacement of the Energy Store without incurring a penalty. However, the stewards, after careful consideration and examination of the regulations, rejected the plea.

The stewards, adhering to Article 2.1 of the Formula 1 Sporting Regulations, emphasized the obligation to apply the rules as written. Despite recognizing the highly unusual external circumstances leading to the damage, they concluded that the mandatory penalty specified under Article 28.3 must be enforced.

Unprecedented Decision:

The stewarding panel clarified that, if within their authority, they would have granted a derogation due to the mitigating, unusual, and unfortunate circumstances. Unfortunately, the regulations did not provide room for such discretionary action.

As the second practice commenced, the FIA officially confirmed that Carlos Sainz had taken on a third new Energy Store for the season, exceeding the allowable limit of two. Consequently, a 10-place grid drop was imposed on Sainz for the Las Vegas Grand Prix.

Impact on the Championship Standings:

The grid penalty adds an extra layer of complexity to Sainz’s pursuit in the championship standings. With the Las Vegas Grand Prix serving as a crucial race, the setback could have broader implications for Ferrari in their battle for supremacy.


Carlos Sainz’s 10-place grid drop in the Las Vegas Grand Prix, stemming from an unforeseen collision with a drain cover, underscores the unpredictable nature of Formula 1. Despite efforts by Ferrari to seek leniency, the strict adherence to regulations has left the team grappling with the consequences. As the race weekend unfolds, all eyes will be on Sainz and Ferrari, navigating through this unexpected challenge.


  1. Why did Carlos Sainz receive a 10-place grid drop in the Las Vegas Grand Prix?
  • Carlos Sainz incurred a 10-place grid drop due to exceeding the limit of allowable Energy Stores for the season after a collision with a drain cover during the first practice.
  1. Did Ferrari appeal the penalty imposed on Carlos Sainz?
  • Ferrari submitted a request to the stewards seeking a ‘derogation of the Sporting Regulations’ to replace the damaged Energy Store without a penalty. However, the plea was denied.
  1. How does the grid penalty impact Carlos Sainz’s championship standings?
  • The grid penalty could have implications for Sainz’s position in the championship standings, adding complexity to Ferrari’s battle for supremacy in Formula 1.

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