Romain Grosjean, Haas, Monaco, 2018

F1 cars may be too wide for Monaco qualifying – Sainz

2018 Monaco Grand Prix

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Carlos Sainz Jnr described qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix as being like a “circus” and suggested the current cars have grown too wide for the track.

Regulations changes meant F1 cars grew from 1.8 metres wide to 2 metres last season, returning to their 1997 widths.

Sainz said this was part of the reason why setting a clean lap in Q1 was so difficult. The first part of qualifying saw 19 of the 20 cars on track together, as Max Verstappen’s Red Bull did not take part.

“It was a circus,” he said. “Maybe [they’re] too wide these cars, too many cars on this Tarmac for 20 at the same time trying to put a lap together.”

Sainz said it was difficult for him to get a clear lap in because he was not in sync with when the other cars around him.

“Whenever I was pushing the rest were doing cool down laps,” he explained. “I was finding them and then I was pushing, [then] I was on a cool down lap and they were on a push lap.

“It was very difficult but in the end we made it with only one set of tyres in Q1 which was a difficult task, but we made it.”

Sainz added he was surprised to be out-qualified by Fernando Alonso given McLaren’s pace on Thursday.

“After FP1 where I was a good half a second clear of them, they have improved a lot and it is maybe something for us to look into,” he said.

“I think it is a combination of good adaptation to qualifying conditions [and] also for sure they tried something different. If not I don’t understand how you can find so much lap time around such a short circuit. For us it was a matter of reacting towards that and pushing flat out to make it.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 15 comments on “F1 cars may be too wide for Monaco qualifying – Sainz”

    1. Max car certainly was 20cm to wide. Other than that i dont see a problem with the width and the harshness of getting a clean lap, its not like you can go side by side with 1.8m wide cars.

    2. FFS. I don’t recall Senna, Mansell, Prost, etc complaining about car width. Either drive or go home.

      1. GtisBetter (@)
        27th May 2018, 9:19

        This is a horrible attitude. They are not robots for your entertainment. Sainz has a lot of valuable input and his comment should be countered with arguments, not this backwards thinking. Also prost and Senna did a lot of complaining.

        1. +1 Prost and Senna did do a lot of complaining!

          I think he has a valid point here, yes maybe 1.8m cars wouldn’t be side by side, but the margin is higher.

          I have a new car which is pretty wide and I feel uncomfortable driving it through various areas.

          @fitzroyalty @passingisoverrated

          1. Good thing you’re not an F1 driver, then

        2. Re “this is a horrible attitude”. Horrible artitude my ****. They do it because they want to do it, not because they’re forced to against their will. Ego and $ come to mind. They have a choice.

      2. José Lopes da Silva
        27th May 2018, 16:43

        It’s not a horrible attitude, it’s just lack of judgement. The Great Demigods of the Eighties had TWO one hour sessions to make their laps, while now they have 15 minutes. Mr. Fitzroyalty for sure didn’t watch all the mss during Q1.

    3. We had 24 cars not too many years ago, including some incredibly slow cars, so back then congestion was even more of a problem. It seems Renault just got the timing of their quick laps a bit wrong.

    4. Absolute non-issue, F1 cars were 2m wide for years, and with more than 20 cars in the field.

    5. RUBBISH, in the 1970’s they were 2m wide.. except the McLaren in Spain! :/

    6. The correct response to Sainz is “your face is too wide for Monaco qualifying”.
      Anything else is wrong.

    7. F1 cars used to be 220cm wide before 1993…

    8. José Lopes da Silva
      27th May 2018, 16:49

      Honestly, not ONE commentator realises they have 15 minutes to do a lap?

      1. Kerry Maxwell
        28th May 2018, 0:31

        Someone above does mention that qualifying used to be two hour-long sessions. If you’d proposed the current format to the drivers of 20+ years ago, they’d have laughed you out of the paddock.

    9. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
      27th May 2018, 18:22

      Considering they have had even wider cars in the past, Sainz might be wrong

    Comments are closed.