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Oscar Piastri and Carlos Sainz had contact in the first corner of the Belgian Grand Prix, in a crash that eliminated the Australian and damaged the Spaniard’s car.
Oscar Piastri had high hopes for the race, starting from fifth, ahead of his teammate. The Australian had finished second in the Sprint yesterday, keeping up his great form, which included a fourth-place finish at Silverstone and fifth at the Hungaroring.
Carlos Sainz, like the McLaren driver, had benefitted from Max Verstappen getting a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change.
The Ferrari had a good start, but he locked up into La Source, and nearly hit the back end of Lewis Hamilton’s car ahead. In his effort to avoid contact with the Mercedes, he dove to the apex.
Unfortunately for him, Oscar Piastri was already there. The pair touched, with the suspension and the wing of the McLaren sustaining damage. He tried to drive his car back to the pits, but was not able to make it and parked his car for his first retirement since his Formula 1 debut in Bahrain.
The rookie was not best pleased and voiced his displeasure on team radio after the contact.
I don’t know what he was doing. I was there and he just turned in like I didn’t exist.
Carlos Sainz kept driving, but the damage to his sidepod and floor was substantial and cost him a lot of pace. He kept dropping back in the field and a retirement is looking imminent. It would be his first one of the season, as he remained one of five drivers not to retire from a race yet, along with Max Verstappen, Fernando Alonso, Yuki Tsunoda and Valtteri Bottas.
Piastri-Sainz crash: The video
Here is a replay of the crash:
— F1 Live Clips (@f1liveclip) July 30, 2023
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