Carlos Sainz has received a 10-place grid drop for this weekend’s Las Vegas Grand Prix, after his team were forced to make repairs to his Ferrari after the chaotic first practice.
Sainz’s car hit a loose drain cover and suffered damage, with the practice then abandoned after just nine minutes.
The Ferrari was towed off the track and the team had to change a host of power unit components in order for the Spaniard to take part in the delayed second session.
But with Sainz using his third energy store of the season, one more than is allowed by regulations, he was handed the penalty.
The race stewards said that even though Sainz’s infringement was a result of “highly unusual external circumstances”, they were obliged to hand out the sanction and reject a request from the Italian team for leniency.
“The stewards note that if they had the authority to grant a derogation in what they consider in this case to be mitigating, unusual and unfortunate circumstances, they would have done so, however the regulations do not allow such action,” the officials said in a statement.
The second practice began at 2.30 am local time, two and a half hours later than scheduled after course workers had to repair the drain cover and check others on the debuting track.
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