Sainz blames errant McLaren mechanic for causing unsafe release
Carlos Sainz Jr has blamed an errant McLaren mechanic for causing an unsafe release during the Formula 1 Dutch Grand Prix held at Zandvoort.
After a poor first stop in which his Ferrari mechanics had to scramble to find a missing left rear tyre, Sainz suffered an even worse second stop as he was let out into the pathway of Fernando Alonso – narrowly avoiding contact in the fast lane.
The stewards took a dim view of the release, with Sainz picking up a five-second time penalty that was added on at the end of the race.
Sainz revealed that a McLaren mechanic carrying a jack was in his way, causing him to brake to avoid running over the mechanic.
“By the time they released me, it was clearly safe with Fernando, but then I had to hit the brakes to [not] hit the McLaren mechanic that ran into my exit line,” Sainz told media, including RacingNews365.com.
“It was this braking that generated the unsafe release. I was frustrated by it because I thought I’d saved someone’s life and not generated a dangerous situation.”
Sainz: “Fernando exaggerated a bit”
Alonso’s comments on the team radio irked Sainz as he felt the two-time World Champion exaggerated the danger caused by the unsafe release.
Sainz Jr also felt that the release wasn’t his or his team’s fault as he continued to blame the error McLaren mechanic.
He added: “The problem is there was this McLaren guy that with a jack running into my driving line, and I had to brake, and I couldn’t get the pit exit right, but is it my fault? Is it my team’s fault ?
“No, it is some guy with a jack at McLaren that runs into my driving line, and I had to hit the brakes. And I’m pretty sure so Fernando exaggerated a bit to try and get me a penalty.”