Carlos Sainz Jnr, McLaren, Suzuka, 2019

Sainz lacking power due to “very old battery”

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In the round-up: Carlos Sainz Jnr says his car is down on power due to its old battery.

What they say

Sainz had to change his power unit early in the season following a failure during the Australian Grand Prix, which put him out of sequence with the other Renault-powered drivers:

I’m very happy with the car all weekend. Well all Friday and the few laps we did [in qualifying] the car behaving very well even with this wind. It was nice and predictable to drive.

We were lacking a bit of straight-line speed with a battery bug. We were suffering a bit with some issues there which were not fully resolved. We have a very old battery pack and it’s not giving us the last tenth that we would like but in the end we did such a good lap that it didn’t matter.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Race control can use the black-and-orange flag to force teams to bring a damaged car into the pits, so why wasn’t it used on Ferrari?

My main issue with stewards is they should have black-and-orange flagged Leclerc within a few corners of seeing his front wing end plate destroyed and spraying parts all over the circuit.

It would have been very embarrassing when it fell off if they then had to deploy the Safety Car, which I always feel ruins the beginning of a race.

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Author information

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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26 comments on “Sainz lacking power due to “very old battery””

  1. Good video of the race start there. Indeed it does look like Vettel’s ‘false start’ did make Bottas react, but because of the delay Bottas ended up getting the perfect start out of it. So seems like Vettel’s mistake very likely won Bottas the race.

  2. Not sure why taking a corner with one hand is perceived as making it too easy. Don’t they ever know the point of power steering? The challenge is always about positioning the car at the entry and guiding it perfectly through the apex to minimalize the time you need to lift the pedal, not how hard the toll on your shoulders.

    1. I believe the recent F1 cars have a suspension geometry that makes it very difficult to steer the car unassisted.

    2. Corners like 130R nowadays are not really even corners anymore because the cars have so much downforce. In a way I find it hilarious when there are people who say f1 is too easy and then they complain that 2021 brings less downforce. More downforce is what makes the cars easier to drive. These current cars simply have too big tires, too much weight, too much downforce and too much electronics. Even the strolls and ericsons can just jump in and feel confident after their first session. Back in early 2000s even the alonsos and schumachers had doubts about their abilities after the first tests because the cars were so brutal and relentless.

      Put less downforce on the cars and then corners like eau rouge become corners again. 130R has been flatout in qualifying for almost 15 years for the top teams but it was mostly because it was changed in 2003 which made it easier to take it flatout.

      1. F1 is locked in a vicious cycle the last couple of years, adding or removing downforce to make the cars more challenging.
        Before 2009 the cars were fast because they had a billion little winglets all over the chassis that produced downforce, but couldn’t overtake easily. So the fans wanted more on-track overtaking instead of waiting for something to happen in the pits.
        So in 2009 FIA makes a rule change to remove this excess downforce and “simplify” the designs to make better racing.
        Over the next couple years teams recovered much of that lost downforce and negated the effects of the 2009 rule change, making overtaking harder, with FIA acting surprised but basicly allowing it without enforcing any significant rule changes to stick to overtaking-friendly-design. The fans shouted “we want harder-to-drive challenging cars and not ones so easy that you can tackle Eau Rouge flat-out”.
        So in 2014 we have another rule change that stripped downforce to make cars move overtaking-friendly but at the same time quite a lot slower. Three years passed without making overtaking easier, the fans shouted “we want faster, more challenging cars that can go flat-out through Eau Rouge and test the drivers abilities”.
        So in 2017 FIA complied and “made it rain” beefing up the downforce to make the fastest cars ever. It didn’t solve the overtaking problem though and the fans started shouting again “we want Eau Rouge to be challenging to tackle and not easy enough that you can drive one handed through there”.
        And the FIA complied indruducing the 2021 rules that strip away downforce…
        And by 2024 we’ll want faster cars again… and by 2028 more overtaking-friendly… and by 2031… and so on

        1. Comment of the day, comment of the month, comment of the Year! AMEN

        2. Great comment. This whole paradigm is the result of a lack of long term strategy for the sport. It’s like no one is capable of learning anything over a period of years and then implementing those learnings.

      2. Technically 130R is not even a corner with radius of 130m since Suzuka was modernized a bit before 2003 season if I remember correctly. It is now two apex corner instead of one 130m radius corner.

  3. Watching the video of Bathurst 1000 it’s obvious that Oz Supercars are much faster than F1 cars !

    Or could it just be better camerawork?

    1. The Skeptic (@)
      15th October 2019, 5:44

      +1. Channel 7 pioneered Racecam and a range of other excellent broadcasting technologies at Bathurst, and Channel 10 have continued the good work.

    2. @hohum No other four-wheeled vehicle beats an F1 car on a proper racing circuit.

      1. @hohum @jerejj @theskeptic
        300 kph in a V8 comes pretty close….
        How do you think an F1 car ( #3 ) would go around Bathurst..?
        Would it just be too long,unsafe,too hilly,not smooth enough ?
        The more I watch the race, the more I appreciate this track around Mt Panorama.
        (Forest elbow,The dipper,Conrod straight) it seems to have everything a track needs….
        Would love to see them rotate the Albert park race every second year.

        1. @aaaa Jensen Button can answer that.

          Bathurst isn’t F1 grade unfortunately and I can’t see it ever becoming so. Would be awesome though.

        2. The Skeptic (@)
          15th October 2019, 9:25

          Jensen Button took a Maclaren around Mt Panorma a few years ago. Broke the circuit record without even pushing!


          1. @justrhysism @theskeptic
            Wow, That was Epic. I really thought Lowndesie was going to kill himself.
            Jensen is such a great character too. The on boards from the Maclaren do really highlight the track undulations, a magnificent lap/track, thanks. I do now vaguely remember some talk about this previously, but never have seen it, (Thanks) it must have been in the time when our kids were getting all the attention:)

    3. Agreed, the camerawork in f1 is abysmal. I discussed this with my only (!) fellow left whos still watching f1 the other day. They seem to focus on one car, zoom in, following it closely and the result is that there is no sense of speed or force captivated in the produced images. The cameras need to be somewhat static I belive, showing not just the car but also the environment it hammers through only in that contrast you can grasp the sheer speed. Like the built in ground cameras at Eau Rouge for example. I especially hate it when they do it in corners, you know showing the rotation of the car like it’s on rails.

  4. If Sainz reckons his car is down on power, what does it say about the Honda PU in Albion’s car given the number of laps he spent less than a second behind him without being able to overtake it?

    1. @dbradock Indeed. Albon should’ve got past him on track without needing to rely on undercut-attempt to get ahead of him, given the car pace-advantage the RB15 has over the Mclaren MCL34. He also got stuck behind Sainz in Russia but eventually managed to get past, and the same in Monza. He also almost got passed by him on the opening lap in Singapore, so quite a few times they’ve encountered each other on track since Albon’s promotion to the senior RB-team. Well, at least, he hasn’t had problems in traffic to the same extent as his predecessor had in the RB15, which was one of the if not the primary contributor to the summer-break swap.

  5. Sainz jr like Sainz snr likes to toot his own horn at every opportunity. Sainz is doing well, norris is doing his mid season fade and all of the sudden sainz is jesus.

  6. Lol at Leclerc, onehanded 130R holding mirror. Amazing. At 300km/h. While doing 3-4g?

    Amazing. Certainly there are some screws missing in his head. Fear for example. But also the mental capacity while driving through a corner to think, oh my mirror might fall off and damage the car behind me. I will then get a penalty, let me hold it. Amazing!

  7. Well, F1 cars do have power-steering, so that helps in one-hand driving through a flat-out corner to an extent. It’s also about positioning, the angle when entering the corner. Nevertheless, some courage needed to pull that out.

    I thoroughly agree with the COTD. The black-and-orange flag should’ve come out immediately, the same with Bottas on the opening lap in Hungary, Gasly in Abu Dhabi last season, etc. Due to the lack of this particular flag, the Stewards are partly at fault for the Ferrari-tactics as well.

  8. I thought the challenge of 130R was diminished a little when it became “85R and 340R” instead of “130R”. Which was about 15 years ago, so seeing a driver take it one-handed wasn’t overly concerning.

  9. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
    15th October 2019, 7:49

    There have been a lot of negative tweets about the one handed 130R moment and harking back to the good old days but surely that’s a bit short sighted. I mean it’s all relative, for every epic corner that has now become a ‘kink’ there are tighter corners that have now become epic because they are the new challenge to try and take flat. Also to state (as a few have done) that the old epic corners now being too easy ‘waters down’ the sport is nonsense, how can the sport possibly be watered down because the cars are now so fast they now make your old epic corners look ‘watered down,’ speed is the name of the game and surely that makes current F1 more epic than ever in some respects. Especially when pulling 6G! Seeing these things through the esses at Japan or Maggotts Becketts, now that’s epic. It’s just progression.

    I don’t like the dirty air situation but that’s not been what the tweets I’ve seen have alluded to.

  10. Disagree with CotD.
    It’s not the stewards but the race director who decides to use the black and orange flag.
    I rather see a safety car at the start than one later on. Cars are still close together, no free pit stops, and no time lost due to unlapping.

  11. What is Sainz grumbling about? McLaren is half a second slower than Red Bull and probably about half a second faster than the rest behind them.

    A tenth more or less laptime is not going to matter one iota

    1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
      15th October 2019, 20:23


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