Formula One

Sainz Jr ‘helping hand’ lands father in hot water with Dakar stewards


Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz Jr inadvertently put his father under investigation during the third stage of the 2023 Dakar rally-raid when he was seen “helping close the car door” of Sainz Sr’s works Audi.

Sainz traveled to Saudi Arabia this week to support his legendary father, a four-time winner of the grueling rally-raid event, who is taking part in his 17th Dakar.

However, video footage published online showed Sainz Jr wearing a yellow jacket and chatting with his father after the latter had stopped to repair his Audi’s left rear brake during last Tuesday’s stage 3.

The F1 charger is then seen helping to close the driver’s door on his father’s Audi, a presence that was frowned upon by the stewards.

<div>Sainz Jr 'helping hand' lands father in hot water with Dakar stewards</div>

But officials ultimately decided to take no further action on the matter.

“The appearance of a son, being near a competitor’s car and helping to close the door is not an initiative of the team or driver,” the stewards said in their response published on Thursday.

“Since this was not done on the initiative of a competitor or a driver, it cannot be recognised as a violation of the regulations.”


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A post shared by Carlos Sainz (@carlossainz55)

However, the stewards reminded Sainz Jr of the need for motorsport personalities to set an example when on site at an event.

“The stewards note that the behaviour of all members of the motorsport community should not raise any doubts,” they added.

“Of particular importance is the fact that very well-known people in motorsport set an example for everyone else.

“It should be noted that Dakar 2023 is a round of the FIA World [Cross Country] Championship. Honest pursuit of the result, adherence to sports principles is especially important. And it is important to follow not only written rules. It is also important to avoid situations that may raise doubts.

“For the relationship between father and son would be very difficult to see as completely unrelated.”

On the sporting front, Sainz Sr’s left rear issue on Stage 3 cost the rally legend over half an hour.

After Thursday’s action, the Spaniard clocked in fourth in the overall rankings, 34m behind Toyota race leader Nasser Al-Attiyah.

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Sainz Jr ‘helping hand’ lands father in hot water with Dakar stewards

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