Carlos Sainz was critical of the intervention of the marshals at the 2022 Austrian Grand Prix in Spielberg. More precisely: The Ferrari driver had the impression that the fire on his F1-75 could have been extinguished a little faster. But after a clarification by the route safety, Sainz is now rowing back: His statements were “not intended as criticism at all,” he said in Le Castellet.
“I’m someone who always has great praise for the marshals because they are heroes and volunteer to be there to protect us in situations like this,” said Sainz. “So I didn’t mean to criticize anyone with what I said. I just wanted to make sure we look at it and see if it can be done better next time.”
Because from his perspective, the situation was “anything but good,” said Sainz. He had tried to park his smoking car on a sloping part of the turn 4 run-off at Spielberg. Then flames erupted from the rear of the vehicle, the Ferrari rolled back and had to be blocked with a wedge before the extinguishing process could begin.
That didn’t go fast enough for Sainz. Sainz said the route safety measures seemed “a bit hectic and not so straightforward” to him.
Sainz: scene from Spielberg already “forgotten”
He could understand why those involved in Spielberg then felt compelled to make a counter-statement. “Because I guess what I said after the race felt like criticism to them.”
“I’m sure everyone did their best at that moment. But we just have to see whether it can go faster next time when a car rolls back. So: react faster. That’s all.”
With his statements, he simply wanted to encourage a reassessment of the processes, says Sainz. His thesis: “We have to optimize the process times. And I will discuss that with the FIA.” The scene from Spielberg has already been “forgotten” for him, he says. “Now it’s about making an improvement.”
As with his initial criticism of the security personnel, Sainz fails to mention that when he dropped out he did not use at least two options to stop on level ground, but instead opted for the sloping run-off zone at turn 4.