Sainz: US GP contact with Ricciardo "on the limit of legality"

Carlos Sainz believes his clash with Daniel Ricciardo during Sunday's Formula 1 United States Grand Prix was "on the limit of legality" after picking up minor front wing damage.

Sainz: US GP contact with Ricciardo "on the limit of legality"
Listen to this article

Ricciardo managed to get the jump on Sainz in the opening stages after a close first-lap battle that saw the McLaren and Ferrari drivers go side-by-side.

Sainz had looked to recover the position by undercutting Ricciardo at the second round of pitstops, only for a slow service by Ferrari to allow McLaren to respond one lap later and keep its driver ahead.

Sainz managed to close on Ricciardo and tried to pass him around the outside of Turn 14, but as Ricciardo squeezed the Spaniard out wide, the two cars made light contact.

The move was not investigated by the stewards, but Sainz said over team radio that it "got a bit dirty" as he struggled with some minor damage on his front wing.

Ricciardo went on to finish the race fifth, while Sainz slipped behind Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas in the closing stages, leaving him seventh at the chequered flag.

"For me, honestly, I think it was on the limit of the legality," Sainz said about the clash after the race.

"Because obviously he's in the inside, I am on the outside, I have everything to lose being on the outside. Normally the car that is on the outside, you're always trying to run the car left out of road.

"Of course he did it on purpose, he wanted to leave me without room on the corner exit with the caveat that we touched. Without the touch, he would have done it, I think clean, perfect defending.

"Just that slight contact that we had made it a bit on the limit for me. If I was in his position, I would have done exactly the same. Obviously I wouldn't have tried to have contact, like we had in the end, but the guy on the inside has the right to run the car on the outside out of road.

"He was within his right to do what he did, just the little contact that he gave me I think was avoidable.

"That's what triggered my reaction on the radio, when we in an emotional situation. All the rest, it was a good, fun battle."

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Ricciardo branded the move as "rubbing racing" after the race, and said he was "happy to be dirty" in response to Sainz's radio comment.

Despite losing out to Ricciardo, Sainz managed to finish ahead of Lando Norris in the second McLaren, helping Ferrari cut the gap to the British team in the fight for third place in the constructors' championship.

McLaren remains third, but is just 3.5 points ahead of Ferrari with five races to go this year.

"I think it's been super tight this year with McLaren, they've had the upper hand on some circuits," Sainz said.

"I think they will still have the upper hand in some of the circuits that are left this season, but the important thing is to put ourselves in a better position thanks to the effort back at the factory.

"Now it's allowing us to put ourselves in a position to take the fight until the last race.

"Maybe in Sochi and Monza, you would think they were the clear favourites to the end.

"Now it looks at least like we're going to have a good chance, and we're going to try and finish the season strongly."

shares
comments
Domenicali surprised Hamilton did not top F1 fan popularity poll
Previous article

Domenicali surprised Hamilton did not top F1 fan popularity poll

Next article

The code of conduct debate prompted by the Alonso/Raikkonen marginal call

The code of conduct debate prompted by the Alonso/Raikkonen marginal call
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Prime

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Motorsport.com in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi.

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Prime

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Prime

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon Prime

The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s teammate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy Prime

How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Prime

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Prime

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second-best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot.

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Prime

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022