Carlos Sainz investigated by FIA over video clip with his father posted online

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Carlos Sainz Jnr has been supporting his rally driver dad Carlos Sainz Snr, who is competing in the Dakar Rally (Image: Getty Images)
Carlos Sainz Jnr has been supporting his rally driver dad Carlos Sainz Snr, who is competing in the Dakar Rally (Image: Getty Images)

The Formula 1 season may be over, but Carlos Sainz managed to still find a way to annoy the FIA in an unexpected way.

The Ferrari driver is not competing in motorsport, but is currently in Saudi Arabia to support his father, also named Carlos. Sainz Snr is a rallying legend currently competing in the world famous Dakar Rally, cheered on by his F1 star son.

But the younger Spaniard committed an accidental faux pas which prompted an investigation into both of them. It was brought to the attention of the governing body after footage of the incident was posted on social media.

In the clip, Sainz Snr is shown working with co-pilot Lucas Cruz to perform repairs to his Audi RS Q E-Tron E2 car in the middle of the desert. Wearing full racing overalls and his helmet, he is seen fixing a problem with the brake on the left rear wheel of his car.

Sainz Jnr is seen nearby, wearing a bright yellow jacket. He is seen speaking to his father several times as they look closely at the car, clearly keen to get it up and running as quickly as possible.

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But F1's 'Smooth Operator' made a bit of a blunder when, at the end of the clip, he was shown to close the driver side door of the car after his dad had got back in. It was enough to concern the FIA sporting delegate that, in doing so, he may have broken the rules.

"The presence of team personnel or any team conveyance (including helicopters) is prohibited within one kilometre of its competing vehicle," according to Article 49.2.1 of the rules. There are, however, some exceptions to that rule.

Given the chance to plead their case, Sainz Snr and his Audi team made the point that the F1 driver was not a part of the team and wasn't acting on their orders. Fortunately for them, the FIA accepted that explanation and decided not to hand out a punishment.

"There is no evidence confirming a violation of the regulations in a legal sense," the stewards ruled. But they did give young Sainz a bit of an indirect telling off, adding: "The behaviour of all members of the motorsport community should not raise any doubts.

"Of particular importance is the fact that very well-known people in motorsport set an example for everyone else." Perhaps as a result of this incident, plus the fact he has a new F1 season to prepare for, the younger Spaniard is no longer following the Dakar and has returned home.

Daniel Moxon

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