Carlos Sainz explains what happens seconds after accident in Dakar
Spanish F1 driver Carlos Sainz withdrew from 2023 Dakar Rally after an accident in which he overturned his car.
Audi confirmed on Tuesday that Spanish race-car driver Carlos Sainz has withdrawn from the 2023 Dakar Rally after he was involved in an accident on the ninth stage.
What happened to Carlos Sainz?
Sainz was just six kilometres into Stage 9 at the Dakar Rally when he flipped his RS Q e-tron E2 on a dune jump, landing nose-first in the sand. Sainz and his navigator Lucas Cruz were able to get out from under the car and turn it back over with the help of some of the workers on the track.
“We just jumped the dune and landed in the next one, and rolled,” said Sainz after the crash. “I’m in a little bit of pain at the moment.”
Sainz is 60 years old and had already suffered a few other crashes, including one with Audi teammate Stephane Peterhansel in Stage 6. Sainz received medical assistance for chest pain and got into the medical helicopter to be taken to a hospital in Riyadh, but quickly demanded to be taken back. They did so and he and Cruz got the vehicle back to the bivouac.
Audi has now confirmed that Sainz and Cruz withdrew from the race after finding that the car had suffered structural damage to its carbon fiber monocoque chassis, rendering it irreparable. This makes their seventh time out of the race since Sainz’ debut in 2006.
“Unfortunately, in today’s accident, the car was seriously damaged and cannot be repaired,” Sainz wrote on social media. “It is with great regret that we have to abandon the Dakar, but the important thing is that nothing serious has happened.”
Audi could have taken the first Dakar win for an electric car, but their hopes were dashed after a series of crashes and mechanical issues. In addition to Sainz’ accidents, he was nearly penalized for receiving outside assistance from his son, Ferrari F1 driver Carlos Sainz Jr. He closed his father’s car door, which is illegal since Sainz Jr. is not part of the Audi team.
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