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A serious safety issue which saw Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz stuck inside his F1-75 has brought the Prancing Horses’ safety protocols into question.
After a long and mildly disappointing race for Ferrari which saw them finish fifth and sixth, Sainz was unable to extract himself from the cockpit of his car. The Spaniard was stuck in his vehicle until two mechanics were forced to come and help retrieve the 28-year-old.
Sainz’s onboard footage shows that the F1 driver’s head and shoulder piece was stuck, a flaw that could’ve proven costly in other circumstances.
Carlos still had a little bit of a problem getting out of his car after the race. pic.twitter.com/uLnOX8pQYS
— Chanel⁵⁵ (@Carlos55edits) October 30, 2022
Whilst the incident may seem harmless at first, such a safety flaw can put the driver’s safety at serious risk. If former Haas F1 team driver Romain Grosjean had experienced the same issue, the French driver may have never been able to escape the fiery crash at the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix.
So what happens in an emergency?
Although Sainz was unable to extricate himself from his Ferrari, it is believed that drivers should be able to force themselves out of the car in a serious emergency.
In footage from 2020, McLaren driver Lando Norris is captured performing his extraction test. The test is performed under the supervision of the FIA to make sure that drivers are able to exit their vehicles quickly enough. In the video, the head and shoulder piece is present whilst Norris disconnects his steering wheel, hands it to his mechanic, clambers out of his McLaren and puts the steering wheel back on.
So whilst it is still of concern that Sainz struggled to extract himself without assistance, in the case of a real emergency, drivers should still be able to free themselves in a racing incident.