Ferrari boss, Frederic Vasseur has revealed that he is to hold talks with F1 bosses over compensation for the damage to Carlos Sainz’ car in opening practice.
The Spaniard’s Ferrari, and the Alpine of Esteban Ocon, were both damaged by a loose water valve cover which resulted in the abandoning of the remainder of the session and a two-and-half hour delay to the second session as the remaining valve covers were fixed in place.
As if this wasn’t bad enough, the hapless Spaniard, who like Ocon required a complete new tub, was hit with a 10-place grid penalty after taking on a new energy store.
“This will be a private discussion that I will have with the stakeholders of this,” said Vasseur.
“There is no provision in the budget or cost cap, for excluding the crashes,” he added. “For sure you have a lot of extra costs. The loom was damaged, the gearbox was damaged, the battery was damaged, the engine is dead.
“We have a lot of consequences on the financial side, on the sporting side, and even on the stock of spare parts, and on the budget side for sure it’s not an easy one.
“There will be discussion. The decision, it’s another thing,” said the Frenchman who confirmed that a spare chassis will now have to be shipped separately to Abu Dhabi for this weekend’s season finale.
In 2017, at the Malaysian Grand Prix, Romain Grosjean‘s Haas was significantly damaged by a loose drain cover, the American team subsequently reaching a settlement with the event’s organizers.
However, in Las Vegas F1 itself was the promoter.
However, other than compensation, Vasseur wants answers in terms of how the original incident was handled.
“We’d have to discuss about the circumstances of the incident also,” he said. “Because it’s not just about the cover coming out, it’s also for me that we had one minute between the yellow flag and the red flag.
“It means that when they put the yellow flag that they saw something on track. And they took one minute before they put the red flag. I think it’s too much.
“The main issue for me in this case is that when you put the first yellow flag it means that you saw something, you don’t put the yellow flag by anticipation.
“It means that the guy who put the yellow flag, and put the yellow flag also on my board, which is coming from the race control, it means that they saw something, and then they took one minute before they put the red flag, when it’s the straight line, and you have a metallic part, and you are at 340 kph.”
Talking of compensation, it was interesting that in amongst the unwavering praise of the event and its surroundings, the Sky Sports broadcast never once mentioned the class action lawsuit being brought on behalf of those fans ejected in the moments before FP2.