Sainz ran over a metal water valve cap, which came loose and destroyed the chassis, power unit and energy bank of his SF-23.
A precedent for damages was set after an incident at the 2017 Malaysian Grand Prix, where Romain Grosjean’s Haas car was severely damaged after the Frenchman hit a loose drain cap.
The US-owned team subsequently negotiated a financial settlement with Sepang’s organizers.
Asked whether Ferrari would seek compensation for the Vegas accident, Vasseur said: “This will be a private discussion that I will have with the stakeholders in this matter.”
In reality, this means Liberty Media and F1, as the race is promoted internally rather than through a local entity.
Vasseur stressed that the incident also had an impact on Ferrari’s budget spending cap.
Further additional costs will be incurred due to the need to transport an additional reserve structure from Italy to Abu Dhabi next weekend, which the Maranello crew began preparing immediately after the accident.
“There is no budget line or cost cap to rule out accidents,” Vasseur said. “You definitely have a lot of extra costs. The loom is damaged, the gearbox is damaged, the battery is damaged, the engine is dead.
“We have a lot of consequences on the financial side, on the sporting side, even on the spare parts inventory, on the budget side, it is definitely not easy.”
Vasseur indicated that he will also raise the issue of damages caused by similar incidents beyond the team’s control and which are placed outside the cap: “There will be a discussion. The decision, it’s another thing.”
Photography: Zach Mauger / Motorsport pictures
Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23
Vasseur also claimed that marshals at the scene displayed a yellow flag after they saw the stray object on the track, but the session was not red-flagged until a minute later, after Sainz ran over him and fell.
“We have to discuss the circumstances of the accident as well,” he said. “Because it’s not just about the cover, for me we also had a minute between the yellow flag and the red flag.
“That means when they raised the yellow flag, they saw something on the track. It took them a minute before they raised the red flag. I think that’s too much.”
When pressed on this, he said: “The key issue for me in this case is that when you put the first yellow flag it means you saw something, you don’t put the yellow flag out of anticipation.
“That means the guy who put the yellow flag, and he also put the yellow flag on my board, which comes from observing the race, means they saw something, and then they took a minute before they put the red flag, when the line is straight, and you have a metal part, and you Your speed is 340 kilometers per hour.”
Esteban Ocon damaged his chassis after the red flag was raised while returning to the pits.
Vasseur confirmed that the teams had not received any message informing them of the presence of debris on the track: “No, they did not speak at all. We did not know the reason for the yellow flag.”
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