Monday 20 November 2017

Russian Grand Prix practice abandoned after high-speed crash involving Carlos Sainz

Final practice for the Russian Grand Prix was abandoned after Spanish driver Carlos Sainz was involved in a high-speed impact with the barriers.

Sainz's Toro Rosso was pictured submerged in the tyre barrier at the high-speed turn 13 section of the track which runs through Sochi's Olympic Park.

The red flags were deployed and with 14 minutes remaining the decision was taken not to restart the session.

Sainz, 21, was attended to by medical staff at the scene of the crash.

Final practice at the Russian Grand Prix has been abandoned following a crash involving Toro Rosso driver Carlos Sainz.
Final practice at the Russian Grand Prix has been abandoned following a crash involving Toro Rosso driver Carlos Sainz.

Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost told Sky Sports F1 the driver was "conscious" and that a decision would be taken later on whether he could play any further part in the race weekend.

Sainz, who is competing in his debut Formula One season, gave the thumbs-up as he was put into the back of an ambulance on a stretcher.

The Spanish driver was taken to the on-track medical centre and the sport's governing body, the FIA, confirmed he was conscious.

Sainz's team boss Tost said: "Carlos is conscious, he's with the doctors now. They will see if he can continue the race weekend."

Replays of the incident appeared to show Sainz lose control of his Toro Rosso under braking.

He collided with the wall and his front-left wheel broke off before he went head-on into the barrier at turn 13.

FIA press officer Matteo Bonciani provided a further update on Sainz's condition.

"Carlos is conscious, he's OK. He has talked to the doctor, so apparently we think it's fine," he told reporters at the trackside.

"We need to see when he will be a little bit better, he is here inside the medical centre. We will see what's going on, we will need to see how he is when the adrenaline has gone down.

"He is conscious, he is talking, and he even tried to remove his helmet on his own."

Sainz's Toro Rosso team-mate Max Verstappen had said over the team radio: "Is he okay because it looks like a big one?"

"We lost the power on the car so we don't know," his team replied.

There were worrying concerns on the faces of his team, and throughout the paddock, as it took 20 minutes to extract the Spaniard, son of double world rally champion Carlos Sainz Snr, from his car.

Nico Rosberg ended the final practice session on top of the timesheets. Williams driver Valtteri Bottas was second with championship leader Lewis Hamilton in third.

The drivers will head into qualifying later on Saturday with only 35 minutes of dry-practice running under their belts after both practice sessions were disrupted on Friday.

The GP3 race scheduled to take place after Saturday morning's practice session was cancelled due to extensive barrier repairs at turn 13 - the scene of Sainz's crash.

Press Association

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