While the damage suffered was in no way attributable to Sainz or Ferrari, their woes compounded when the subsequent reconstruction of the SF-23 led to a 10-place grid penalty.
Despite the stewards acknowledging the non-culpable nature of the incident, they asserted a lack of authority to waive the penalty.
Sainz: Vegas a low moment
This turn of events left Sainz grappling with a level of frustration that eclipsed any he had experienced throughout his career.
“It was such a disastrous weekend for me and the team and we lost such a good opportunity there to score big points and fight for a win that I haven’t fought [for] since Singapore,” Sainz told PlanetF1.
“It was an incredibly frustrating feeling. I’ve never been as frustrated as a racing driver, or never been more upset towards the sport than I was in Vegas.”
“I’m still angry about what happened and it affected my championship and Ferrari’s championship," Sainz added. "But even if you put a protest you never win it, so there it is, the way F1 behaved with me and Ferrari, I don’t see a solution to the problem.
“Maybe without that breakage the end of the season would have been different, with a different performance in Abu Dhabi. It was an unfortunate end and I don’t want it to tarnish a good season for me.”
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