Carlos Sainz Jnr, McLaren, Spa-Francorchamps, 2020

Sainz will not start Belgian GP after exhaust failure

2020 Belgian Grand Prix

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McLaren has confirmed Carlos Sainz Jnr will not start the Belgian Grand Prix following an exhaust failure on his car.

Sainz’s MCL35 was seen smoking heavily during his pre-race reconnaissance lap at Spa-Francorchamps as he rounded Blanchimont. He was told to pit immediately.

The team said Sainz suffered an exhaust failure which was caused by a problem with his power unit.

He was due to start the race from seventh position. An empty space will be left on the grid between Alexander Albon’s Red Bull in sixth place and Sergio Perez’s Racing Point in eighth.

It is the second year in a row Sainz has suffered a technical problem very early in the race. A power unit struck him 12 months ago and he retired after a single lap.

“On the second lap to the grid I started smelling something not quite right on my car,” he said. “And I started hearing that the exhaust had broken.

“I went into the pits and then we found out that’s it’s actually a PU issue that generated an exhaust blow-out. Second consecutive year that I’m not even able to start the race at Spa, my favourite track. So you can imagine I’m not happy.”

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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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11 comments on “Sainz will not start Belgian GP after exhaust failure”

  1. Nothing they can do about it?

    1. I am sure they won’t be albe to change the exhaust system in less than 30 minutes @bluechris

      1. The exhaust is nothing but a metal pipe running from the turbine to the rear. I wonder where the smoke came from…

        PR new take on engine failure? Some oil burning going on?

        Guess we’ll never know. It’s either electrical or hidraulical explanation these days.

        1. LOL, nice joke there “only facts”.

          The exhaust is quite important to power delivery etc. And the materials it is made of won’t just let you put a welder to it to patch it up. Even if that wouldn’t in itself mean at least 20 minutes to GET to it first.

          1. @bascb not to mention the risk that, if it has cracked and hot gas is being trapped within the bodywork, you could have damage to electrical components (especially wiring) that might be being burnt.

        2. How long have you been watching F1?

          Do you not know that a major part of the hybrid recovery system is based on the exhaust system?

  2. What a shame after getting in front of the two Racing Points!
    Every point is important in that midfield battle!

    I wonder what caused the problem between quali and setup this morning?

  3. Well that sucks. McLaren have been doing well and it would’ve been really good to see him there fighting alongside the Renaults and the Racing Points.

    Sucks for Carlos, too. Man he’s had some crap luck this season.

  4. In the golden era of F1, he could have stepped into the spare car. Never mind …..

  5. Power unit issue blew the exhaust. How does that happen?

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