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Formula 1 Chinese GP

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

Aston Martin has lodged a protest against the results of the Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix qualifying results in relation to Carlos Sainz’s red flag crash.

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-24, spins out in Q2 causing car damage and a red flag

Sainz went off at the final corner midway through the second part of qualifying which triggered a red flag stoppage, but the Ferrari driver was able to get going and complete an entire lap to return to the pits.

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

The FIA has announced that Aston Martin has lodged a protest of 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 or the sprint qualifying session shootout will not be permitted to take any further part in that session.”

The FIA race control messages stated that Sainz had stopped on track during the red flag period, before he was able to fire up his Ferrari and return to the pits.

The rule is in place to stop drivers getting assistance from marshals or recovery vehicles to potentially rejoin the session under a red flag, but doesn’t cover the eventuality of a driver being able to continue under their own power.

Aston Martin and Ferrari representatives are due to face the FIA stewards at 6pm local time at the Shanghai track.

Crucially, Lance Stroll was the driver who narrowly missed out on Q3, setting the 11th fastest time in the session.

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

It is likely that Aston Martin has protested in an attempt to get Sainz’s lap times deleted from Q3 and Q2, which would promote Lance Stroll up to 10th on the starting grid and demote the Ferrari driver.

Speaking after qualifying about his crash, Sainz said: “I just did a simple mistake, hit the inside kerb a bit too hard, that threw me a bit off line, touched the gravel on the exit, clipped the gravel and spun.

“Then right in the last moment before hitting the wall I managed to turn the wheel a bit and crash in a better angle than what I was. In the direction that I was going, probably this saved the day, because it was looking bad at one point.

“From there on, did a very strong lap in Q2 to recover from that moment for the confidence more or less back, if you can call it like that, and put together some decent laps.”

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