It was pretty scary, admits Sainz


As the race restarted following the withdrawal of the safety car at the end of lap 6, understandably attention was focussed on the front of the field, where, all down the main straight Lewis Hamilton was pulling up almost alongside race leader, Valtteri Bottas, then dropping back, trying to anticipate the moment the Finn would get proceedings underway again.

When the Finn finally floored it, as he headed his teammate into Turn 1, attention suddenly switched to the back of the field where all hell had broken loose.

"It looks like someone in the midfield thought that the race had started, or a couple of people thought that the race had started," said Carlos Sainz, one of four drivers eliminated on the spot. "I was stuck behind an Alfa and we were both getting the slipstreams and racing really, already.

"As soon as everything opened in front, suddenly I found three or four cars completely crossed in the middle of the straight and I just took a couple of them with me," he added.

"We are doing 290-300kph at that point because probably everybody in front of me felt that we were racing. Suddenly it looks like we were not racing anymore and everyone started braking again and by the time I saw everything it was just too late and it was a big crash.

"It was a very dangerous situation," the Spaniard, who had been pushed into a spin on the opening lap, continued, "it reminded me of very nasty things from the past, so I don't want to say nothing, but something that definitely needs to be analysed and find out what happened.

"I'm OK, and it looks like everyone is OK so that's the main thing because the crash was pretty scary."

"My feeling is that somebody maybe backed off to then try and go and gain like a momentum," said Kevin Magnussen, one of three drivers interviewed by the stewards, and like Sainz eliminated on the spot.

"I don't know for sure but certainly the guys in front of me, a couple of cars ahead, they went and we were full throttle for at least a couple of seconds. Then they stopped right before the line and then I had to stop, the guy behind me had to stop, and eventually somebody couldn't react and there was a massive crash.

"It has to be looked at for sure and improved for the future," said the Dane, another of the 12 drivers given an official warning by the stewards, "so we don't have that again."

"I was already flat out," admitted Antonio Giovinazzi, "the group behind was pushing already. Then Magnussen completely stopped in front of me, I tried to avoid but he was just there and I was already flat out. So a really dangerous manoeuvre."

"With this track and the finish line being so late it was quite clear that the leader was always going to try and go as late as possible, just to avoid the slipstream effect," said Nicholas Latifi, who along with Magnussen and Daniil Kvyat was interviewed by the stewards.

"When you're in the midfield or the back of the pack the concertina effect is always going make it a bit more difficult to judge," he continued. "Already on the straight going into the last corner it seemed like, at least the cars around me, were pushing on the restart, so I went, obviously, but I almost hit the rear of Kevin on the apex of the last corner.

"A really close miss there, bunched up again, and then it seemed like everybody was going again so when you're that far back you're just reacting to the cars around."

While Bottas was absolved of any blame, and had the right under the regulations to dictate the pace, though no one driver was wholly or predominantly to blame, Magnussen, Sainz, Giovinazzi, Latifi, Kvyat, Alexander Albon, Lance Stroll, Daniel Ricciardo, Sergio Perez, Lando Norris, Esteban Ocon and George Russell were all given official warnings.

Check out our Sunday gallery from Mugello, here.

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Published: 14/09/2020
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