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Inconsistent F1 Rules: Sainz Penalized, Sargeant Not?



Inconsistent F1 Rules Sainz Penalized, Sargeant Notf1 2023 australian

It’s unfortunate that the ongoing controversies in F1 always seem to circle back to the Abu Dhabi incident. In an attempt to prove that the ending was legitimate, the FIA’s decisions have resulted in yet another debacle. Allowing cars to pit during a safety car period may give an unfair advantage, and the full red flag restart at the end of the race only adds to the confusion. It’s challenging to defend the sport when the rules appear to be unclear and constantly changing.

In the chaotic world of Formula 1 racing, incidents happen all the time, and the stewards are usually quick to penalize the culprits. However, in the recent Australian Grand Prix, there seemed to be inconsistencies in how the incidents were evaluated. While Carlos Sainz received a five-second penalty for a collision with his compatriot Fernando Alonso, Logan Sargeant’s collision with Nyck de Vries went unpunished.

In the midst of the commotion caused by the second standing restart during the Australian Grand Prix, it could have been effortless to overlook Logan Sargeant colliding with fellow Formula 1 newcomer Nyck de Vries initially. However, during the third red-flag period of the race, when replays of the crash from multiple angles were broadcasted, it became apparent that Sargeant had braked too hard, causing him to collide with the back of De Vries’ AlphaTauri.

Inconsistent F1 Rules Sainz Penalized, Sargeant Notf1 2023 australian

Furthermore, the incident involving Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly, both from Alpine team, colliding, and Carlos Sainz causing his compatriot Fernando Alonso to spin, were also visible in the replays. Sainz was penalized with a costly five-second penalty, while Ocon and Gasly’s collision was scrutinized, and no additional action was taken.

While the decision regarding Ocon and Gasly’s incident may have been unexpected, what was even more perplexing was the absence of any inquiry into the collision between Sargeant and De Vries.

During the restart, Sargeant and De Vries were the final two drivers out of the 16 who had resumed racing. Prior to the restart, De Vries had encountered contact with Ocon on the exit of the Turn 3 right-hand bend, causing him to fall out of contention for points. Meanwhile, Sargeant had difficulty with the medium tires and could not make much progress.

The standing restart provided an opportunity for both drivers to gain positions, but things did not go as planned as they approached Turn 1. When asked about the incident, Logan Sargeant described the incident with Nyck de Vries, stating that the tyres and brakes were not up to temperature, causing the front wheels to lock up immediately when he hit the brakes. He expressed remorse for what happened and apologized to Nyck de Vries for the unfortunate outcome.


Sargeant further commented that he needed to review the incident, as it felt odd because he had braked at a similar spot during the previous two starts. He described the situation as similar to when you touch the brake with cold brakes, and the front wheels lock up instantly, leaving no room for action.

When asked for his view on the incident, De Vries was sympathetic towards Sargeant’s mistake, stating that such things occur in racing, and it was a racing incident.

De Vries acknowledged that Sargeant misjudged his braking point, causing him to collide with the back of his car. Although it was unfortunate, De Vries harbored no resentment and stated that it can happen to anyone. He lamented that the incident marked the end of their race.

While De Vries was magnanimous in labeling the incident as a racing incident, it was somewhat perplexing that an obvious mistake resulting in the elimination of another car went unnoticed and unpunished.

If there was a problem with Sargeant’s car that caused the “strange” feeling he experienced, it would have been revealed during the investigation. This was the case when Kamui Kobayashi’s Caterham collided with Felipe Massa’s Williams at the same corner during the start of the 2014 race, and no further action was taken when a braking issue was discovered with Kobayashi’s car.

The absence of an investigation into the collision between De Vries and Sargeant added to the concerns already raised by the neutral verdict regarding Ocon and Gasly’s collision within the same team. This outcome likely did not help Carlos Sainz’s frustration over the penalty he received.

The stewards penalized Sainz after determining that he had enough space to take evasive action to avoid the collision with Alonso but did not do so.

Unjust Penalty Drops Sainz from Fourth to 12th in Australian Grand Prix

It is unclear what specific measures Sainz could have taken to avoid the collision, and the report does not provide any information on that. However, it is likely that Sainz could have braked earlier and avoided colliding with Alonso.

Regarding Sargeant’s collision with De Vries, it is reasonable to assume that Sargeant could have taken similar measures, such as braking earlier, to avoid colliding with De Vries. Therefore, in terms of the actions that could have been taken, there may not be much of a difference between the incidents involving Sainz/Alonso and Sargeant/De Vries.

The absence of an investigation into the incident between Sargeant and De Vries, along with the lack of an explanation as to why no action was taken, creates an unclear and inconsistent image of how “first lap” incidents should be evaluated.

It raises questions such as whether Sargeant’s brake lock-up, which occurred at the same point as the previous restarts, absolves him from any wrongdoing, and if drivers will not be scrutinized if they lock up and collide with other competitors in the future.

It is uncommon for a clear-cut penalty to go unnoticed without any acknowledgement, and it is hoped that this occurrence is a peculiar irregularity rather than the commencement of a trend.

Inconsistent F1 Rules Sainz Penalized, Sargeant Not? Australian GP 2023 Inconsistent F1 Rules Sainz Penalized, Sargeant Not? Australian GP 2023 Inconsistent F1 Rules Sainz Penalized, Sargeant Not? Australian GP 2023 Inconsistent F1 Rules Sainz Penalized, Sargeant Not? Australian GP 2023