Formula One

Piastri-Sainz incident at Belgium: The drivers disagree over Turn 1 crash

Piastri-Sainz incident: The Spaniard parks his car to retire from the race
Photo by XPB / Icon Sport

Oscar Piastri and Carlos Sainz had a coming together in the opening lap of the Belgian Grand Prix, forcing the Australian to retire before even completing a lap. The Spaniard’s Ferrari sustained damage on the sidepod and retired later on because of that.

It all happened in the first corner, as Sainz braked late, but moved to the apex to avoid hitting the back of Lewis Hamilton. Piastri was on the inside though and touched both with the inside wall and the Ferrari, causing damage to his suspension and his wing. Sainz retired 22 laps later.

The stewards decided not to take any action against either of the drivers, therefore no penalty was given.

Piastri-Sainz incident: What Sainz had to say

Sainz had a different point of view on the incident though and placed the blame on his opponent, talking to F1TV:

I was on the attack with Lewis and I think I pretty much had the move done into turn one. I hit the apex cleanly and everything.

But unfortunately I think Oscar was trying to do a bit of an optimistic move on me I think. A bit of a shame because when you review the past races here in Spa and you know what’s been the cause of turn one incidents, it’s exactly that.

Everyone who tried the inside line into turn one normally generates an incident or a crash and tries to really make it around there normally generates an incident or a crash. And this time it was my turn to receive it.

I didn’t go deep. I made perfectly the apex and passed Lewis. If you look at my onboard, yes, I do lock up, but I don’t go deep into the corner. At some point someone needs to back out.

He’s the guy who is alongside my rear-right that I think needs to back off the move and not me and let him pass me into turn one, especially when I’m pretty much having my move done with Lewis.

Piastri-Sainz incident: What Piastri had to say

It was a weekend of highs and lows for Piastri, who finished second yesterday in the Sprint. Here is what he had to say about today’s incident though:

From Carlos’ point of view, the move to the right surprised me a bit.

For myself, I think from there I was quite limited. Maybe I could have braked a bit later and been further alongside. But it’s very easy to say that with hindsight.

I think once I was in that position, it was quite hard to either go forward or go backwards. And I was just kind of stuck. So I tried to do the best that I could from that position but there wasn’t much I could do.

I think it’s quite firmly in the category of a lap one, turn one incident. I got a good start and put my nose alongside.

And then when we got to the braking zone, Carlos moves a bit to the right and locked up and I also had to try to avoid that a bit. From that to the apex, my options were quite limited in where I could go.

For both drivers, it was the first retirement in a long time. Piastri last retired in his Formula 1 debut back in March, while for Sainz this is the first retirement of the season.

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