In Miami’s F1 debut, Carlos Sainz went off the track at Turn 7 in Friday’s second practice session. There were no barriers or tire stacks. The impact caused him pain in his neck. Despite Sainz’s suggestion that Tecpro barriers be installed, FIA race director Niels Wittich took no action on the second day. Esteban Ocon then went off the same spot a day later with a 51G impact.
Several drivers expressed frustration at the inaction following the incident, but after speaking to race officials in Spain, Ocon was reassured. “I spoke to the race director for an hour on Thursday about this situation,” Ocon said. “They worked hard, analyzed the route that my car and Carlos took and they were already looking for the best solution. Some adjustments will be made for next year for security reasons. We listened, admitted mistakes and took action. The conversation calms me down and I am happy about the result.”
Sainz finished third later in the weekend in Miami but wasn’t able to push 100 percent at the end of the race. He thinks he won’t be in pain again this weekend in Spain but can’t say for sure that he’s fully recovered. The topic will also be discussed at the drivers’ briefing on Friday. “We had a weekend with two riders who had neck pain and two chassis that broke after very slow crashes,” said Sainz. “We should definitely check that.”