€25,000 fine heightens Ferrari’s frustration over backmarkers who ‘cost us the race’

2022 Monaco Grand Prix

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Ferrari blamed lapped cars for costing both their drivers vital time during Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix, which helped Sergio Perez beat them to victory.

After his sole pit stop of the day Carlos Sainz Jnr spent half a lap behind Nicholas Latifi, which he said cost him a position to Perez. Charles Leclerc, in the other Ferrari, was also held up behind Latifi’s team mate Alexander Albon.

The delays were a particular source of aggravation for Ferrari as the team collected a heavy fine on Saturday when Sainz held up Lance Stroll during final practice. The stewards came down heavily on the team, saying they gave Sainz “a series of grossly incorrect messages, by radio, about the gaps to the cars behind” about his gaps to drivers behind.

Ferrari warned Sainz he was being caught by Yuki Tsunoda. However the situation was complicated when Tsunoda unexpectedly told his team he needed to pit, apparently due to a car problem. As Sainz slowed approaching the final corner to let him by, Tsunoda dived into the pits, and Sainz moved back to the racing line as Stroll appeared behind him.

The stewards described the incident as “unacceptable”. However team principal Mattia Binotto said the team “did our best” to avoid holding anyone up and did not agree with the stewards’ decision.

“We believe that the impeding he made was certainly not dangerous,” he said in response to a question from RaceFans. “We [were] not too happy for the fine.

“We believe it was not the right choice because we believes that as a team and driver we did our best in order to avoid it at the time and not making anything wrong. So overall, we need to accept those decisions [but it] doesn’t mean we agree with them.”

He noted that in the race “solid blue flags” were shown to Albon and Latifi, both of which delayed his drivers “and no further actions” were taken.

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Sainz said the Williams pair “cost us both the same the race and no further action. And that was proper impeding.

“So this is where we want more clarity and we want more consistency, as simple as that.”

Mick Schumacher, Haas, Monaco, 2022
Gallery: 2022 Monaco Grand Prix in pictures
“I cannot count the times that I got impeded in Monaco this weekend, both being dangerous and not dangerous,” he added. “What I don’t understand is why we got fined €25,000 as a team for impeding, which I did, and I accepted the blame, and I apologise to Lance. I don’t understand why other cases are not investigated and other people are not fined for exactly the same thing.”

Latifi should have realised he was interfering with the battle for the lead of the race by not giving way more quickly, said Sainz.

“You can understand the frustration and the feeling that I went through there because I knew my race was all about that out-lap,” he said. “And as soon as I exited the pits, I was wheel-spinning, obviously in the wet patch and he just managed to sneak in ahead of me.

“I think personally, knowing that I was the leader of the race at that time, he could have perfectly just stayed behind me instead of overtaking me, while I have to stay to the right of the yellow line, like some others struggled to do. He overtook me basically going up because I had to stay right on the wet patch, the yellow line.”

The Williams driver delayed Sainz for around half a lap. “I had to follow him turn three, turn four, turn five, turn six, turn seven, turn eight, and at the exit of turn eight he got out of the way in the tunnel,” said Sainz. “But at that time I had already lost the warm-up of the tyre and the time to make a difference on the slick. I believe the slick at that point was already as quick as the inter[mediate] and for sure not slower than the inter.

“Just because of being stuck behind the slowest car of the grid on the track at that time it cost me them the opportunity to stay ahead of Checo after the pit stop. So you can imagine my frustration. You can imagine my shouting on the radio to get him out of the way. But for some reason, it took longer than it should.”

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Carlos Sainz Jnr’s radio messages

Sainz caught Latifi after he left the pits on lap 21.

AdamiAll have blue flags in front. Blue flags.
SainzGet this guy out of the way.
AdamiCopy.
AdamiOkay. All clear in front. Next car in front is six seconds, Mick.
AdamiAnd leave K2 on. Leave K2 on. Perez is pitting.
AdamiPerez getting out from the pits. Push. And Verstappen as well.
SainzWho are they?
AdamiPerez in front. Verstappen behind.
SainzOkay check I touched the wall a bit.
SainzCopy, checking.
SainzPressures are okay.
AdamiCan use K1.
SainzThat blue flag cost me.
AdamiWe saw Yeah, that.

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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14 comments on “€25,000 fine heightens Ferrari’s frustration over backmarkers who ‘cost us the race’”

  1. I’m equally baffled how no action got taken against the Williams duo even though they clearly breached the having to let by before passing three consecutive light panels & on the earliest possible opportunity requirement, not to mention they did so deliberately, especially Albon.
    FIA should stick to rules & apply them fully consistently.
    Lapped drivers shouldn’t unnecessarily interfere with lead battles.

    1. I didn’t realise how bad it was but just saw the onboard on Youtube. I counted 15 flashing blue light boards that he passed before he finally let Leclerc past. Incredible that he didn’t get a penalty for that!

      1. Absolutely, but I would like a meaningful penalty, in that race there’s nothing a 10 sec penalty etc. does to williams, albon should’ve been fired or something that has some kind of impact, I don’t see how even a race ban would have an impact since they’re generally out of the points lately anyway.

      2. It was indeed rather blatant, and afterwards admitted by Albon, that they had zero intention to obey the instructions of race control. Unfortunately, F1 has had poor officiating for as long as I’ve followed the sport, and they simply don’t care to improve. The stewards are particularly poor and they are inconsistent to boot.

        Still, it’s easy to see why some Ferrari fans are noting that Ferrari got a very unusual and very heavy fine, while all the incidents involving Red Bull drivers, notably Albon, Perez and Verstappen, weren’t even investigated.

        1. You are saying the FIA is against Ferrari? Impossibile

      3. @petebaldwin 16 or 17 seems to be the more common reckoning, so you’re being slightly generous to Albon by underestimating the number of blue flags he ignored.

        As you note, the stewards normally would have been very swift to penalise a driver who ignored the requisite three blue flags, especially if, as in the case of Albon, they were also actively warned by the team not to obstruct the trailing driver – but, in this case, they didn’t even look at it, despite the footage indicating a clear breach.

  2. Wow. What a garbage weekend for Ferrari.

  3. Apart from the impeding incident and how Verstappen’s pit lane exit line crossing was handled. I think I saw an unsafe release that involved an Aston Martin and a Williams if I’m not wrong that could have resulted in an incident if it wasn’t for the Aston Martin literally breaking to avoid the Williams. I thought a penalty was inevitable but nothing happened.

    The steward and race direction have carried on with the inconsistency and freestyle interpretation of the rules and nothing seems to have changed. I told you last year that Masi will be missed.

    1. The car in the fast lane has priority. That was the Williams The Aston Martin exiting his pitbox has to give way and wait. The only people responsible for the unsafe release was Aston Martin.

    2. I don’t agree with you on Masi, I really think there are other things under Masi and final race disgrace.

  4. Formula one amateur hour. as usual.

  5. Pretty strange how Albon escaped a penalty! I guess karma got him in the end because he retired, but Albon’s pathetic racing outside of points is no consolation for LEC as most likely ALB costed him 3rd place. Hope this is his last year in F1, he’s nothing special anyway, so no loss. It’s as if this GP weekend Ferrari found out they have an enemy in Williams, Jost Capito going to SAI’s car and made photos to his Ferrari’s underside while it was loaded to a truck.

  6. I really hope Ferrari or bonded teams on purpose cost the mean Williams team very important points. I really don’t believe in their sincerity as a team anymore.

  7. The backmarkers only usefulness, it seems, is as obstacles. They will either holdup the leaders, or crash thereby resetting the race.

    Albon & Latifi, they know their roles and they do this very well.

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