The investigation into Carlos Sainz Jr’s crash during final practice at the Sochi Autodrom two weeks ago has been concluded, and have revealed surprising results that go against what was initially thought had happened.
There were concerns following the incident that Sainz’s Scuderia Toro Rosso had ‘submarined’ under the TecPro barrier due to its low nose, but frame-by-frame analysis from the FIA have revealed the barrier did exactly what it was supposed to during the incident.
Instead of submarining, the TecPro barrier had in fact ‘bounced-back’ on top of Sainz after hitting the Armco barrier during the incident, which had made the accident look worse than it actually was, which is why the Spaniard was able to compete in the race on Sunday.
“It was quite an extreme stop, and it is quite an outstanding performance that both the car and barriers allowed the driver to walk away from the crash,” said FIA safety director Laurent Mekies, with Sainz estimated to have decelerated from 153kph to zero in four metres.
“From the video analysis, you see the barrier rising between 0.167s and 200milliseconds, at the very end of the impact when the car was stopped.
“It does this when it is rebounding from the Armco, which is a very important thing for us to improve and solve because it gave quite a few concerns for the rescue team.
“But it was quite a different situation compared to a car submarining beneath the barrier. It is obviously quite a different conclusion compared to what was initially felt, giving us quite a challenge to resolve how to avoid that rebounding phase, but it is also giving us confidence into the barrier and car performance in the crash.”