Carlos Sainz Jnr, McLaren, Hockenheimring, 2019

Sainz admits he lost half a minute because he deliberately went off

2019 German Grand Prix

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Carlos Sainz Jnr admitted he had deliberately driven onto the Hockenheim drag strip when he spun during the German Grand Prix.

The McLaren driver admitted he thought he would save time by using the run-off at turn 15, which he expected would offer more grip.

Sainz was one of several drivers to spin or crash at the corner during the race. “What we were surprised [by] is to see Tarmac that was slippery,” he said. “I think as a driver you see a black strip of Tarmac and you say ‘if I go wide here, no problem’.

“I actually went wide on purpose,” he explained. “I missed the corner saying ‘I’m going to miss the corner on purpose, just going to go wide and come back’. Then suddenly found this un-grippy surface.

“That’s why I was so frustrated on the radio because I felt stupid. I could have easily made the corner. I didn’t commit to the corner just to not lose time by trying to keep it tight. And I missed 35 seconds of race time by doing that.

“So I think the frustration from the driver there comes by actually thinking there’s going to be grip and it’s not. So next time we will no and we will not go there.”

However Sainz doesn’t believe the run-off, which is formed from a drag strip, should be replaced with grippier Tarmac. He expects the subject will be discussed in this weekend’s drivers’ briefing.

“I think it will come up, naturally,” he said. “I’m just going to try and make sure they don’t make it grippy Tarmac and they make it gravel or stay the same as it is.”

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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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Posted on Categories 2019 F1 season articles, 2019 German Grand Prix, F1 newsTags , ,

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  • 19 comments on “Sainz admits he lost half a minute because he deliberately went off”

    1. Fantastic, a driver getting punished for the right reasons and being honest and supportive of it.

    2. A nice insight into the psyche of a racing driver.

      It does make it harder to really sympathize with these guys: https://www.racefans.net/2019/08/01/poor-design-of-drag-strip-run-off-criticised-by-drivers/

      1. Norris said he went there on his last sighting lap, sainz jr couldn’t let norris one up him.

    3. Also admitting he tried to cheat by disregarding track limits thinking it would offer an advantage.

    4. LOL. I never thought he’d actually done it on purpose.

      1. @jerejj He probably didn’t, it is sainj jr we are talking about, he can’t let us forget how great he is…

        1. John P Wiederecht
          2nd August 2019, 3:59

          I’ve never thought of him as particularly arrogant or braggadocios. Besides, his current results are painting him as pretty damn good.

    5. Kudos for admitting that.
      I’d have been way to embarrassed about it and too ashamed to admit deliberately cheating.

      1. I wouldn’t call it cheating, the FIA made it clear track limits would only be enforced on the first and last corner, which implied that regulation would be not in effect for any other corners. You could argue Carlos broke the spirit of the regulations, but F1 is too ruthless a sport to not exploit loopholes.

    6. Drivers deliberately violating track limits because they expect to gain time by doing it…certainly sounds as if something is not right.

    7. So I think the frustration from the driver there comes by actually thinking there’s going to be grip and it’s not. So next time we will no and we will not go there.

      Sainz wasn’t the first to go off right? Lando said he did on purpose on his formation lap and almost binned it. You’d have thought that that info would’ve been relayed around to ensure that Carlos didn’t do the same thing (and then after the first guy went off, the other teams would be telling their drivers to be extra careful). That’s a bit strange to me that the information didn’t get passed along. If I was on the pitwall at McLaren, I sure would’ve done (hint hint Zak, I’m available to join your team :) )

      1. @hugh11
        Lando said he didnt tell anyone about it on purpose. I mean why whould he?

      2. @hugh11, you raise an interesting point. Even Hulk, which crashed more than half-way through the race, mentioned he went wide trying to avoid a spin and was surprised about the lack of grip there. You’d think that after so many crashes there every driver would have been warned already.

      3. @hugh11 you hit the nail in the head. He’s todays mansell, not in speed but 9g bs, if you get the reference.

    8. Sainz do have a tendency to leae track and get away with it, as his fellow country man did som many times, and also got awau with – until the very end were stewards had enough.
      Funny he doesnt mention that he also left track and gained position on MAG, for free.

      1. Noone asked that question

    9. I feel corner-gate has had enough attention, it’s deflecting attention away from everything else that happened in that race, like lance stroll leading the race on merit.

      1. Not exactly on merit but defending against Bottas on the other hand is as impressive for Lance as it is humiliating for Bottas.

    10. Simple then. Stay on the track. Going off should always bite and penalise.

      Zero sympathy for anyone who used the drag strip tarmac as an excuse.

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