Stewards dismiss Aston Martin’s Sainz protest

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SHANGHAI, China — Aston Martin has lodged a protest with the stewards of the Chinese Grand Prix over Carlos Sainz’s continued participation in qualifying following his accident in Q2.

Sainz crashed on the exit of the final corner on his first flying lap in Q2, causing a red flag after his car hit the barriers head on and came to a stop pointing in the wrong direction on the circuit.

Once the rest of the cars had started returning to the pits as per the red flag procedure, Sainz pulled a U-turn on track and also drove to the pits where his broken front wing was replaced.

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He continued in the session thereafter, qualifying seventh on the grid, which Aston Martin’s protest claims was a breach of Article 39.6 of Formula One’s sporting regulations.

Article 39.6 states: “Any driver whose car stops on the track during the qualifying session or the sprint qualifying session shootout will not be permitted to take any further part in that session.”

A member of the Aston Martin team and a member of the Ferrari team were called to the stewards in relation to the protest.

The protest is likely to hinge on the definition of a stopped car and whether Sainz’s Ferrari was deemed to have stopped.

If the protest is successful a stewards investigation and decision will follow on the incident.

“I had a big moment there, obviously right at the last moment, I managed to crash in the right angle,” Sainz said after the session. “I turned the wheel a bit to make sure I didn’t crash straight with the rear tire, and be more sideways. This probably saved the day.

“Obviously from there on, high heart rate and adrenaline, but I managed to put together a very strong lap later in Q2 and recover well from that moment.”

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