Oscar Piastri had his car repaired but did carry damage still in F1 Monaco GP, while Carlos Sainz had his dramas too en-route P3.

It was all over for Ferrari’s Sainz at the original start in F1 Monaco GP where a slight brush of wheels with McLaren’s Piastri caused front-wing damage to the Spaniard, so much so that he almost pulled at the side of the road in Sector 1.

But to his luck, the grand prix was red-flagged due to the heavy shunt behind and since not even half the distance was done by Zhou Guanyu – crucially before the Safety Car Line – he was able to start from his original grid position and not 16th where he had dropped to.

The minor touch was significant for both the drivers as noted after the race. Piastri lost 20 points of downforce which they managed to recover by bit under the red flag. But he was still trailing, as was Sainz who had his car fixed but still had some damage.

It wasn’t as decisive factor in them ending up second and third since the nature of the circuit is such where it is hugely difficult to overtake. Sainz did think about pouncing on Piastri, but felt it was better for both of them to not retire due to any incident.

The FIA allowing him to start was crucial, though, but both Andrea Stella and Frederic Vasseur didn’t mind where luck did play its part. For McLaren, it was close to having two cars on the podium, but not to be and Ferrari got some luck eventually.

Turn 1 contact –

Piastri: “I mean, it was OK. I think for the first half of the race, it was impossible to tell what the penalty of that was. I think towards the end, probably a combination of trying to keep the pace of the race reasonably quick, plus the floor, yeah, just struggled a little bit towards the end, but overall pretty happy with it. And yeah, the last 10 laps or so, I was pretty happy we were in Monaco. I definitely felt the touch at Turn 1 and at that part of the car, it’s such a sensitive part. The team told me how much downforce I was losing before we tried to fix it and it was a pretty big number. I don’t know what we managed to get it down to but yeah, obviously the length of the red flag helped us out quite a lot there. And being in Monaco, it’s probably the one track where having damage doesn’t hurt you as much. So, yeah, it was a very, very small touch. But with these cars, especially with the floor being so sensitive to the downforce it generates, it can ruin your race very easily. So, yeah, I was very happy we could try and fix it.”

Sainz: “I got a really good start and I had kind of an opportunity going into Turn 1 and I arrived a bit long, with a lot of understeer in the car and trying to keep the position with Oscar, as it’s pretty much your only chance to pass. Then I understeered off a bit into him on the exit and yeah, we had the slightest of contacts. For some reason, Oscar and I, we seem to have a magnet recently between each other, for some reason that I don’t understand, because we get on well and everything is okay, but we seem to always find each other on track. Yeah, I didn’t even feel the contact. It was so slight or it was so small that I didn’t even see it or feel it.

“But as soon as I exit Turn 1, I could feel the puncture. And yeah, it looked like my race was over there at one point. And then I was really lucky to get the P3 back and race from there the rest of the race. In terms of damage, even when you see the tyre, it was such a slight cut that the tyre got from the contact that there was no issues with the car, no damage. It was just the smallest of contacts. A bit unlucky to get the puncture in a way, but then lucky to get the position back. From there on, honestly, it was a new race and we had our opportunities, but never really a clear one.”

Send down inside of Piastri –

Sainz: “I got tempted a few times, but after lap one and obviously knowing that Monaco is a bit of all-or-nothing, you know that when you go for a move, the most likely outcome is contact between the two cars and a potential DNF for the two cars. And I felt like that was too much to lose for both Oscar and myself, you know, and my team. So unfortunately, Monaco is like that. I did have my opportunities and my temptations, both in the first 15 laps and in the last 10 laps, but never really a clear chance to see how we could get out of the corner untouched. So, yeah, as I knew from Friday, my race pace was going to be good. I was the fastest on Friday practice in terms of race pace. Again, today, when I could show the pace, it was really, really good. But Monaco is track position and we lost it to Oscar yesterday.”

Damage to Piastri –

Stella: “In terms of Oscar’s damage, as soon as the collision happened, we observed the 20 points down, which here in Monaco is about half a second. But then thanks to the red flag, we were in condition to make some repairs to the floor because the side wing of the floor was broken. So we repaired it, we didn’t fix it entirely. And we changed the sidepod that was broken as well. So overall, the deficit was about 10 points for the entire race, which is a couple of 10ths maybe two tenths and a half, and obviously made us a bit more nervous about the possibility to keep the tyres in a good situation, in a good condition, because the car was a little damaged, but Oscar managed to do that and ultimately, the damage was not influential for the final result.”

Sainz cleared to re-start –

Stella: “In terms of the way in which the restart order was determined, I think what the FIA did was the best thing to do. Because and also it is in agreement with the precedent, whereby you use the safety car line 2 when sector time is not available. I don’t think using the mini sectors is a good way of doing that. Obviously, the whole point that saved Carlos was that Zhou had not crossed the sector time at the time the race was suspended. Lucky Carlos. I think he was lucky today. And he was also somehow you know, apply the lenient approach from the stewards, because the collision in corner one obviously created significant damage to Oscar’s car, and I think this summed up with yesterday’s impeding. Like I say, lucky Carlos, this gained him a podium. We are happy for him but I think especially with yesterday impeding, we are still a little puzzled as to what the difference between yesterday and Imola.”

Vasseur: “If from the pit wall, not exactly because we didn’t see the crash behind and we were focused on the discussion with Carlos to understand exactly what’s happened, if he can restart the car and so on, and then we saw the red flag, but I didn’t see that we had another crash. It means that in this kind of situation, you are always only focused on your car, you don’t think about the global picture. For sure, it was good news when they told us that all the cars didn’t cross the safety car line and they have to do the sector one line and they have to consider the position in the safety car.”

Here’s race start situation: https://www.formula1.com/en/video/2024-monaco-grand-prix-three-car-crash-on-the-race-start-triggers-immediate-red-flag-in-monaco.1800121075959327550

Here’s how F1 Monaco GP panned out

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