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Sainz told the stewards he was driving slowly to cool his tyres at the time. However the stewards noted Sainz reduced his speed to 50kph, around 20kph slower than any other driver did at the same point on the track during the session.
The stewards noted Sainz was paying attention to other cars around him and checked his mirrors six times between the start/finish line and the first corner. “However the fact remains that he drove unnecessarily slowly and as a result, a potentially dangerous situation was created,” they ruled.
Ferrari was also given an official warning and told they must take more care to advise their drivers of similar situations in the future.
“The team is formally warned that it needs to be more alert in informing its drivers of approaching cars and that it is wrong to assume that cars will always do a cool-down lap after a push lap,” the stewards added. “In this case the driver received no information at all from the team about the rapid approach of car 77 [Bottas].”
With his fourth reprimand of the season, Sainz will receive a 10-place grid drop if he collected another before the end of the championship. Yuki Tsunoda did so at the last race and has a penalty this weekend for that reason.
Two of Sainz’s other reprimands were for impeding, including incidents with Zhou Guanyu in Australia and Lance Stroll in Monaco. He was also given a non-driving reprimand for causing an unsafe incident with Fernando Alonso in the pit lane in Bahrain.
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