Ferrari’s Spanish driver Carlos Sainz has been penalized with the loss of three grid positions for the Canadian Grand Prix due to an obstruction by Alpine’s Frenchman Pierre Gasly during Saturday’s qualifying session. The penalty saw Sainz drop from eighth to 11th at the start of Sunday’s race in Montreal.
The incident took place in the final minutes of the first part of qualifying and prevented Gasly from advancing to the next stage. The French driver became enraged when he encountered Sainz’s car, which was driving at low speed at the entrance to a chicane at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, forcing Gasly to swerve into an escape area to avoid a collision.
Gasly expressed outrage at the situation, calling Sainz’s driving “completely unacceptable.” He noted that he was going 300 km/h and Sainz was concentrating on his own lap, but reminded him that one is not alone on the track. He also regretted that he was unable to complete his lap, which would have easily put him in the top six, and considered Sainz’s action extremely dangerous and unnecessary, leaving him devastated.
After the session, the stewards investigated the incident and decided to impose the three-place penalty on Sainz. The Spanish driver is currently sixth in the overall standings after the first seven races of the Formula 1 season.