On the first lap of the Spa race on Sunday, Sainz and Piastri, who began in fourth position, encountered each other. Sainz made an error by locking up and crashing into Piastri while on the inside of Turn 1.
The McLaren was pinched against the inside wall, damaging its suspension and ripping the side of the Ferrari’s right sidepod, with Piastri slowing on the run downhill to Eau Rouge and later stopping.
Although the stewards did not intervene in the situation, Sainz expressed his belief that the newcomer should have given way, particularly considering Sainz was engaged in a battle with Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton.
He stated that he initiated the attack alongside Lewis, and I nearly completed the maneuver by Turn 1.
“I cannot reword”
“Yes, it’s a bit unfortunate because when you analyze the previous races at Spa and understand the common occurrences at Turn 1, it aligns perfectly with that.”
“I am often the one who ends up involved in an incident or crash when someone attempts to take the inside line into Turn 1 and tries to make it through forcefully, and this time it happened to me.”
Sainz maintained that he did not take the corner too aggressively, although he acknowledged that he braked too hard and mentioned that he “executed the apex flawlessly and overtook Lewis.”
He mentioned being aware that Piastri was positioned on the inside. However, he also stated that it was necessary for someone to yield, specifically the individual beside him on the rear-right, and allow Piastri to overtake him into Turn 1. This is particularly important as he had almost completed his maneuver with Lewis.
Sainz mentioned that the car was nearly impossible to drive, but he decided to keep going in case there was a red flag. Eventually, he retired after the rain stopped.
Piastri expressed his belief that the occurrence fell under the classification of a lap one, Turn 1 incident. However, he expressed disappointment as it occurred right after his impressive second-place finish behind Max Verstappen in the sprint race on Saturday.
Describing the situation, he stated: “I had a strong beginning and managed to position myself next to him. However, as we approached the area where we needed to brake, Carlos veered slightly to the right and experienced a braking issue. Consequently, I had to make an effort to avoid any potential collision.”
At the beginning of the race, Carlos Sainz from Ferrari SF-23 and Oscar Piastri from McLaren MCL60 had a collision.
Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images
“I had very few choices regarding my possible destinations, starting from that point and leading to the highest point.”
“I will review it again to determine if there were additional actions I could have taken, but it is unfortunate that we find ourselves in this situation instead of remaining on course.”
Piastri expressed that he believed both drivers “could have approached the situation differently.” However, he acknowledged that Turn 1 was quite narrow, and Carlos didn’t have many alternatives considering Lewis’s position. Overall, it was unfortunate.
“I was a bit surprised by Carlos’s decision to move to the right,” he informed Motorsport.com.
“For my part, I believe I had certain limitations at that moment. Perhaps I could have delayed braking slightly and positioned myself further ahead, but it is effortless to make such observations in retrospect.”
“I found myself in a situation where it was difficult to make progress in either direction, leaving me feeling trapped.”
“I made every effort to perform to the best of my abilities given the circumstances, but there were limited options available to me.”
The individual from Australia mentioned experiencing a puncture in the front tire and damage to the steering during the accident. As a result, they had to navigate through Eau Rouge with the steering wheel turned almost completely to one side while still moving in a straight line.