Front wing damage spoiled Sainz’s late-race charge

2019 Austrian Grand Prix

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Carlos Sainz Jnr says he isn’t sure how he picked up the front wing damage which spoiled his charge through the field in the Austrian Grand Prix.

The McLaren driver made up six places after his pit stop and was running eighth when he told his team the car suddenly felt “undriveable”. He went off at turn nine shortly after being lapped by Charles Leclerc.

After the race Sainz said he didn’t know how the damage had happened. “One of those kerbs I guess,” he said. “I don’t recall driving [over] any kerbs but maybe saturation from so many laps. An adjustor broke and I lost a whole flap, lost all the aero balance.”

Sainz had strong pace up until that point and was catching his team mate Lando Norris and Pierre Gasly in their battle for sixth place. “Until the front wing broke I was doing 8.6, 8.5, 7.9 at some point I think I did,” he said.

He spent the final laps of the race holding off Kimi Raikkonen for eighth place. Sainz praised his team’s tactics for getting him into the points from the back of the grid. “I had a very good strategy, a very good plan.

“I didn’t attack that much at the beginning to try and go long, try and create a big tyre delta for the last stint and that’s exactly what happened. That gave me a good tyre delta to start clearing people towards the end and just go one by one, inside, outside.

“Then towards the end seeing Gasly and Lando they’re catching half a second per lap or more, it was really good fun I was enjoying a lot. It was a shame the front wing because I would have had fun in the last three laps. But I still enjoyed it.”

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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6 comments on “Front wing damage spoiled Sainz’s late-race charge”

  1. Really good weekend for Sainz (and McLaren in general). Very good recovery drive following the engine penalty. Holding off Kimi with damage was impressive considering how good Kimi’s 1st stint was (although conversely how much Giovinazzi caught Kimi towards the end suggests maybe Kimi was struggling on the hard tyre?).

    1. Or maybe just Kimi was getting held up by a slower Sainz denying him an overtake @eurobrun?

      1. @bascb
        After looking at the lapcharts again I think you are correct, so I’ll stick with my original comment:

        Holding off Kimi with damage was impressive! :)

  2. Lovely performance, what a charge! 11 places, that is impressive.

  3. Sainz, Norris, and Kimi were great to watch today. I was cracking up during the first stint every time Kimi told Gasley “I think not.” I’m glad to see McLaren and Alfa Romeo finding pace and getting scrappy.

  4. Shame we didnt get to see any of it…… thank you f1

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