With Formula 1 coming to Abu Dhabi for the final race of the season, several drivers and teams are still in close battles in the standings.
Sitting on 200 points apiece, Carlos Sainz and Fernando Alonso are looking to secure P4 in the Drivers’ Standings, while McLaren is determined to extend its 11 point lead over Aston Martin in the Constructors’ Standings.
That desire to make the most out of the last weekend on the 2023 calendar, Sainz and Oscar Piastri had a close encounter in the opening practice session that sparked anger from the Australian rookie.
Speeding round the track, Piastri had to take evasive action to avoid the Spaniard, complaining to his team over the radio: “Classic Carlos. Just sitting in the middle of the road. Nothing’s changed, I see.”
“Do you think that was dangerous,” Piastri’s race engineer Tom Stallard asked.
“I mean, yeah. He made no effort to get out of the way.” Piastri replied.
The incident with Piastri wasn’t the only close call Sainz had during the session.
Passing the Ferrari, Russell complained “That Ferrari is going so slow in the middle of the straight there. Dangerous.”
Sainz's weekend would go from bad to worse in FP2, as he found himself crashing into the barriers only minutes into the session, bringing out the red flag.
Losing control at turn three, Sainz spun around and hit the barriers, causing extensive damage to the car.
"I've crashed guys. Dirty air from the car [in front] it gave me a massive snap. The dirty air and the bump I think," Sainz said over the radio.
It's the second weekend in a row where Sainz has suffered costly damage in practice after he hit a loose drain cover at the Las Vegas Grand Prix.
“An awful lot of work to do for the team to get their car fixed ready for tomorrow," Sky Sports pundit Martin Brundle said during the broadcast, as he watched the Ferrari get winched onto a recovery truck.
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