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Aston Martin protests F1 Chinese GP qualifying results after Sainz red flag crash

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Aston Martin protests F1 Chinese GP qualifying results after Sainz red flag crash


Sainz went off in the final corner midway through the second part of qualifying, triggering a red flag stop, but the Ferrari driver was able to restart and complete a full lap to return to the pits.

With minimal damage, Ferrari repaired Sainz’s car and got him back into qualifying, where he progressed to Q3 and took seventh place.

The FIA ​​announced that Aston Martin had lodged a protest against the qualifying results over Article 39.6 of the F1 sporting regulations, which states: “Any driver whose car stops on the track during the qualifying session qualifying or the shootout of the sprint qualifying session will not be allowed to participate further in that session.

Messages from FIA race control indicated Sainz stopped on track during the red flag period, before he was able to turn on his Ferrari and return to the pits.

The rule is in place to prevent drivers from having the help of marshals or recovery vehicles to possibly rejoin the session under a red flag, but does not cover the possibility that a driver can continue under their own power.

Representatives from Aston Martin and Ferrari are due to face FIA ​​stewards at 6 p.m. local time at the Shanghai circuit.

Above all, Lance Stroll is the driver who narrowly missed Q3, setting the 11th fastest time of the session.

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

It is likely that Aston Martin protested in an attempt to have Sainz’s Q3 and Q2 lap times removed, which would push Lance Stroll to 10th on the grid and demote the Ferrari driver.

Speaking after qualifying about his crash, Sainz said: “I just made a simple mistake, I hit the inside curb a little too hard, that took me off the line a little bit, I hit the gravel at the exit, cut the gravel and spun.

“Then, just at the last moment, before hitting the wall, I managed to turn the steering wheel a little and crashed at a better angle than I had. In the direction I was heading, it probably saved my day, because at one point it was looking bad.

“From there I had a really good lap in Q2 to recover from that moment and more or less get the confidence back, if you can call it that, and put in a couple of decent laps.”

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