Sainz slammed into the wall of the Ascari chicane during the second free practice on Saturday morning, resulting in a fairly heavy impact.
Onboard footage of the incident highlighted the magnitude of the impact, with Sainz being thrown quite far forward towards his steering wheel.
Ferrari is currently conducting its own crash investigation using the FIA’s mandatory high-speed cockpit cameras, along with other telemetry data, to get a full picture of the incident and its aftermath.
And while it’s unclear at this time whether or not Sainz’s helmet made contact with the steering wheel, that should emerge from any analysis by Ferrari and the FIA.
The way Sainz was thrown forward in the crash caused some concern among observers as it seemed so unusual.
However, the FIA says it is normal for seat belts to yield a bit to impacts as it is safer for the human body than being fully rigid then.
F1 race director Michael Masi explained: “I think the belts are made to stretch.
“You’ve got a human body in there, so there’s got to be some gift. You can’t just keep everyone completely tied up because there has to be a bit of a concession in things.
Marshals bring Carlos Sainz Jr.’s car, Ferrari SF21, back to the pits
Photo By: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images
“So we’re going to take a look at the belt stretch, as we do with any major or significant incident like this, and see what we can learn from that. You know, can it be improved? Let’s look? “
When asked if there was an element of the belts that maybe stretched too much in Sainz’s case, Masi replied, “Possibly. And let’s try to learn from it.
While some had suggested that Sainz’s HANS had come off in the crash, the Spaniard himself was clear that was not the case. Photos after the incident also showed his HANS straps in place.
“No it doesn’t,” Sainz said of suggestions that the HANS straps had broken. “It was just that the impact was so strong that my head moved forward a lot and I took a few belts with me, but not the HANS.”
The FIA has said investigating accidents after every F1 weekend is an essential process to help drive further safety improvements.
Masi added, “I am always encouraged by all of the safety features and the constant improvement in safety that we have.
“You look at Carlos’ incident in FP2. While it doesn’t sound like much, the impact has been quite severe.
“Whether it’s halo, equipment, car design, anything, there is always this constant evolution to improve overall safety. “