Masi explains decision to delay Sainz investigation in Abu Dhabi GP

Formula 1 race director Michael Masi has explained the decision to delay the stewards' investigation into Carlos Sainz Jr's alleged slow pitlane entry in Abu Dhabi

Masi explains decision to delay Sainz investigation in Abu Dhabi GP

McLaren driver Sainz was placed under investigation by the race stewards in the F1 season finale for a possible slow entry to the pitlane, holding up Racing Point's Lance Stroll.

Despite an uneventful race and plenty of time to complete the investigation, the stewards confirmed they would only look at the matter after the race.

It meant McLaren had to wait for a decision before it could officially celebrate third place in the constructors' championship, with Sainz provisionally finishing sixth behind team-mate Lando Norris.

The stewards ultimately decided to take no further action after estimating Sainz only slowed enough to lose 0.6 seconds in the pitlane. They also accepted the Spaniard's explanation that he slowed down in response to the busy pitlane under the Virtual Safety Car.

Masi explained after the race that the stewards were eager to review all of available information in the incident, reasoning the decision to postpone the investigation.

"There was some data that was necessary that we wanted to get hold of, so that takes obviously a little bit longer to get," Masi said.

"As a result, it was easier to look at it completely after the race, once we had all of that available information, and was also helpful getting the perspectives of the respective drivers."

Asked by Autosport how "unnecessarily slow" was determined by the stewards, Masi said it was down to their judgement.

"Driving unnecessarily slowly in the pitlane comes about as a result of a discussion with all of the teams sporting directors and the stewards earlier this year," Masi said.

"So as long as we had to look at it all, it's a judgement. It's why we have stewards."

Stroll was told to "blend" into the fast lane of the pitlane after his pitstop as Sainz came past, and appeared to narrowly avoid an Alfa Romeo mechanic who was stood in the next pitbox.

Masi confirmed the stewards did note and look into the incident, but determined no investigation necessary.

"It was looked at, but it wouldn't be classified as an unsafe release," Masi said.

shares
comments
Alonso fastest in F1 Abu Dhabi young driver test for Renault

Previous article

Alonso fastest in F1 Abu Dhabi young driver test for Renault

Next article

Alonso: F1 Abu Dhabi young driver test ignited "competitive spirit"

Alonso: F1 Abu Dhabi young driver test ignited "competitive spirit"
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Carlos Sainz Jr.
Author Alex Kalinauckas
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Plus

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. BEN ANDERSON looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Are we at peak F1 right now? Plus

Are we at peak F1 right now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021 Plus

How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021

The longer Red Bull can maintain a performance edge over Mercedes, the better the odds will be in the team’s favour against the defending world champions. But as the Bahrain Grand Prix showed, many more factors will be critical in the outcome of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship

Formula 1
Apr 7, 2021
How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend Plus

How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend

Williams held out against the tide for many years but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, the age of the owner-manager is long gone

Formula 1
Apr 6, 2021
When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m Plus

When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m

Nikita Mazepin’s Formula 1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix lasted mere corners before he wiped himself out in a shunt, but his financial backing affords him a full season. Back in 1993 though, Marco Apicella was an F1 driver for just 800m before a first corner fracas ended his career. Here’s the story of his very short time at motorsport’s pinnacle

Formula 1
Apr 4, 2021
The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes Plus

The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton took victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix despite, for a change, not having the quickest car. But any hopes of developing its W12 to surpass Red Bull's RB16B in terms of outright speed could not have come at a worse time.

Formula 1
Apr 2, 2021