Mercedes denies suggestions that they influenced Sainz’s penalty

© Jiri Krenek for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Sky Sports F1’s Ted Kravitz says Mercedes has completely denied any suggestions that they prevented Carlos Sainz’s penalty from being waived.

The Las Vegas Grand Prix Free Practice 1 got cut short after only nine minutes, after a loose manhole cover damaged Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari.

The organizers then proceeded to further secure the manholes to prevent this from happening again. However, Sainz is still required to serve a ten-place grid penalty, because the damage to his car required various component changes.

There was talk of a supposed vote among the teams to allow the penalty to be waived, because of the circumstances that caused the damage, with reports saying that one team voted against this.

Various media and fans then started speculating that this team was Ferrari’s main 2023 rival, Mercedes, however Sky Sports F1 reporter Ted Kravitz says he contacted the team and they completely denied any such allegations. Furthermore, no such vote could have even happened.

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“I’ve reached out to Mercedes [to ask] is it the case that you would have or could have objected to a Sainz derogation for that penalty,” Kravitz said.

“They said, ‘No, absolutely not, purely speculative’. The precedent is that even when it’s not the driver or team’s fault, you carry the penalty and the rules don’t allow for discretion to be applied’, as the steward explained.

“Mercedes’ point was that they would not have been in a position to object to any derogation.

“Their only position would have been if the rules had been incorrectly applied and some derogation or allowance would have been made for Sainz. Then, I think, Mercedes would have objected to that and probably some other teams as well.

“Because you can’t have the rules being incorrectly applied, can you,” the Briton concluded.

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