Sainz ‘struggling to follow’ F1 rules at 300kph


Carlos Sainz feels F1’s rules of engagement have become too complex, underlined by the recent Max Verstappen-Lando Norris duel in the Austrian Grand Prix that has sparked so much debate.

The Red Bull and McLaren drivers were involved in a bitter battle for the race victory at the Red Bull Ring that resulted in a clash of wheels, a puncture apiece, and retirement for the Briton, whilst the stewards handed the three-time F1 champion a 10-second penalty for causing a collision.

Norris heavily criticised Verstappen in the immediate aftermath, whilst the Dutchman strongly defended his driving, in particular, after coming under fire from an array of people for his aggressive style which McLaren team principal Andrea Stella, specifically, remarked had gone unchecked since his 2021 title tussle with Lewis Hamilton.

Norris and Verstappen have since cleared the air, but what remains confusing for Sainz is that the rulebook has been rewritten so much over the years that it has simply confused the drivers about what they can and cannot do.

Reflecting on what unfolded on that occasion between Verstappen and Norris, Sainz said: “In my view, it is clear that you can move to defend and then come back, but always leave at least one car’s width to the white line so the other car fits.”

He added: “As a rule, I really struggle with the fact that we need to keep adding rules to the racing side of it. I think there are so many already.

“If you guys read the rulebook there is what we need to do if you overtake on the inside; what we need to do if you defend on the inside; what we need to do if you attack on the outside; what we need to do if you defend from the outside.

“It’s all a different set of regulations that is already super detailed and specific, which I struggle to follow exactly when I’m in a car going at 300 kph because we cannot think at that speed about all those rules.”

Insisting he ‘doesn’t want any further rules’, Sainz added: “The rules are clear enough, and there was a decision taken on the stewards’ side already. It’s not like there’s nothing much to talk about.”

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