Carlos Sainz Jr.’s father suffered a horrific crash during the 2023 Dakar Rally. Sainz Sr. was only a few kilometers into the ninth stage of the rallycross event when his Audi RS 1 E-Tron rolled after jumping over a sand dune.

Initially, it did appear that Sainz and his co-pilot Lucas Cruz were unscathed as they were helped by locals to turn the car back onto its wheels. However, soon after, Carlos complained of pain in his torso and a medical helicopter was arranged to transport him to a nearby hospital.

In a slightly hilarious turn of events, as soon as Carlos Sainz boarded the aircraft that then took off, the 60-year-old demanded to be returned to the desert to complete the course.

The Dakar Rally social media account hilariously tweeted,

“New episode in the Sainz saga on Stage 9: the Spaniard asked the medical helicopter on its way to the hospital to turn back and take him to his car. He is now back with Lucas Cruz waiting for their assistance vehicle.”

Sainz was then taken back to the desert where the team tried to repair the damaged vehicle but to no avail. Since the vehicle could not be repaired, the Spaniard was forced to abandon the rally for this year. Sainz Sr. later confirmed on his social media as he posted,

“Unfortunately, in today’s accident, the car was seriously damaged and cannot be repaired. It is with great regret that we have to abandon the Dakar, but the important thing is that nothing serious has happened.”

Carlos Sainz Jr. draws comparisons with reigning MotoGP world champion

Carlos Sainz Jr. has drawn comparisons with the reigning MotoGP world champion Pecco Bagnaia. These comparisons were made by MotoGP legend and fellow Spaniard Marc Marquez. Talking to the Spanish edition of Motorsport.com, Marc Marquez said,

“I hesitate between two riders. You could, for example, draw a parallel between the careers of Carlos and Pecco Bagnaia, as both exploded slowly, but now both are at or near the top. At the same time, it could be Alex Crivillé. Although, unlike him, Sainz will win several titles.”

Carlos Sainz scored his first-ever F1 win last season, and the Ferrari driver will be hoping to build on that and put together a better challenge this season. The 2022 F1 season also saw Sainz getting outperformed by Leclerc significantly. It will be critical for him to start on a better footing this season.