Piastri move was optimistic, says Sainz


Carlos Sainz claims that Oscar Piastri's move at the first corner that was to eliminate both drivers was optimistic.

Looking to build on his success in the Sprint, Piastri learned the hard way, at one of the sport's most infamous corners, that three into two won't go.

As the field headed into La Source behind leaders Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez, Lewis Hamilton, Sainz and Piastri were three abreast, with the Spaniard and Australian going for the gap on the inside.

As the gap grew ever smaller the McLaren driver clipped the wall on the inside which in turn caused him to hit the Ferrari.

"I don't know what he was doing," he told his team over the radio, "I was there and he just turned in like I didn't exist."

Though Sainz continued along with the rest of the field, as he headed down the hill towards Eau Rouge it was clear that Piastri had a problem as he lost position after position, almost collecting one of the Alpines from behind. He eventually pulled off the track at Turn 14, his steering damaged.

While told that the damage to his car had cost him around 5% in aero, dropping down the field Sainz eventually retired at half-distance.

"He attacked with Lewis and I pretty much had the move done into Turn 1," said the Spaniard. "Hit the apex cleanly and everything but unfortunately I think Oscar was trying to do a bit of an optimistic move on me.

"A bit of a shame," he continued, "because when you review the past races here in Spa and you know what has been the typical Turn 1 incidents, it's exactly that. Everyone who tries the inside line into Turn 1 and tries to really make around there normally generates an incident or a crash and this time it was my turn to receive.

"At some point someone needs to back out and he's the guy who is alongside my rear-right that I think needs to back off and move, not me, and let him pass me into Turn 1, especially when I'm pretty much having my move done with Lewis."

"I think it's quite firmly in the category of a lap 1, Turn 1 incident," said Piastri. "I got a good start, got my nose alongside, when we got to the braking zone Carlos moved to the right and locked-up. I had to try and avoid that, and then from there to the apex my options were quite limited in where I can go.

"I think from Carlos' point of view the move to the right surprised me a bit, then for myself, from there I was quite limited. Maybe I could have broken later and been more alongside, but it's very easy to say that with hindsight.

"It wasn't fun, that's for sure," he admitted. "I think I was quite lucky that everyone got around me before Eau Rouge then the way the steering was I kind of managed to get to the left side of the track before the bottom of Eau Rouge, so from that point it was OK. But it's not very fun going around a slightly curved straight when you couldn't steer."

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Published: 01/08/2023
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