Tyre warm-up problems compromised Sainz’s race

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In the round-up: Carlos Sainz Jnr is determined to learn from a difficult Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

In brief

Sainz viewing Baku weekend as learning opportunity

Carlos Sainz Jnr had a tricky weekend in Baku, including a Q3 crash and early visit to the run-off that severely compromised his race.

“It hasn’t been my my greatest of days, to be honest,” he admitted.

“Every time I had a cold tyre on the car – at the start or after a pit stop or in the last start or after a Safety Car – I was always struggling with with front locking, struggling with the feeling of the brakes, with the front tyre and today it has cost me. It has caused me a mistake, a couple of positions at some of the starts. And in the end it means that that the end result of the weekend is not as good as it should be.

“But it gives me an opportunity to focus on something, in trying to improve something, which is the feeling with the car and the front tyres and the brakes in those first laps when the tyre is cold and something that I will put some focus on to try and get better in the next few races.”

Ocon’s promising race ended by boost failure

Esteban Ocon, Alpine, Baku City Circuit, 2021
Ocon’s race ended early
Esteban Ocon said his retirement from the Azerbaijan Grand Prix was due to a turbocharger failure.

“I can’t seem to catch a break here,” said the Alpine driver. “It’s very tricky, obviously, we had a boost pressure loss, so we had to retire the car and unfortunately it was not our weekend. That’s clear.”

Ocon had hoped to take advantage of a “messy” race to score point in Azerbaijan. “Qualifying didn’t go our way but we had the pace for the top 10. We did a good start, we were in front of both McLarens, I was fighting, I was doing my my race and it was going well. So it’s a shame.”

Easy to make a mistake in two-lap race – Norris

Restart, Baku City Circuit, 2021
Hamilton’s error handed Norris a place
Lando Norris said he felt “fifty-fifty” about the Azerbaijan Grand Prix ending with a two-lap race from a standing start. He moved up two places at the final restart, partly thanks to Lewis Hamilton going off ahead of him.

“I’m sure Lewis was like, ‘I can get a win here’ and then went straight on,” said Norris. “So it’s so easy just to make a mistake and for it all to go so easily wrong.

“On the other hand, it can go right and you can gain two places. It’s always difficult to judge how aggressive you want to be, how many risks you want to take, but I thought I took a decent amount of risk versus reward ratio and it paid off.

“So I’m pleased with P5. Even with this weekend, with the penalty yesterday and starting P9 and the bad first lap and everything I was happy with that.”

Piastri ‘too excited’ in unsafe pit lane release

Oscar Piastri finished second the Formula 2 feature race despite being penalised for an unsafe release from his pit box. He admitted the error was his fault.

“The team decides when I leave, but I was too excited to get out of the pit box and went while the light was still red,” he explained. “It was the first time where I’ve had that sort of situation, where I’ve had to wait for someone in the pit lane and I just wasn’t thinking about it.

“Normally the only reason the light wouldn’t turn green is if a wheel was still getting put on, but all four wheels were on and I was on the ground, so it was just a mistake on my part. Thankfully, it wasn’t worse, and thankfully there wasn’t a Safety Car so the penalty didn’t make much difference in the end.”

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Comment of the day

After Nicholas Latifi’s penalty for doing what his team told him to do, Bleu points out that there has to be some leeway for drivers to follow race control’s instructions, especially at a high-speed track like Baku.

Remembering last year’s Italian Grand Prix where Hamilton and Giovinazzi were penalised for doing the opposite infraction. I remember a lot of debate where the pit being closed signal should be.

But it’s the same lights used in both cases (pit lane being closed or pit lane must be used) so they have to be early enough so every driver can react and not reverse the decision too late.
@bleu

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Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a freelance journalist who roams the paddocks of Formula E, covering the technical and emotional elements of electric racing. Usually found at...

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  • 22 comments on “Tyre warm-up problems compromised Sainz’s race”

    1. of course Latifi is not at fault and williams did not meant to make a mistake but a mistake was made, as usual the team is penalised through their driver. hopefully this mistake won’t happen again, race direction is not at fault here.
      Race direction could start radioing the drivers directly as is the case in wec.

      1. @peartree

        Race direction could start radioing the drivers directly as is the case in wec.

        Seems the obvious things to do, why don’t they

        1. @balue I’m not 100% sure that they don’t to be honest. In the same way we only found out just how often the teams are talking to Masi since they’ve been broadcasting it in the last few races. But I agree that it does seem obvious if they aren’t doing it already.

      2. @peartree I’m sure I remember a Ham penalty recently where they argued he was doing what his team told him and the stewards said, OK no penalty. Wasn’t it the whole practice start from the wrong place debacle. So which is it Masi…!

        1. @millionus the fia is not consistent, I remember they adjusted Ham’s penalty points so he would not “accidentally” get a race ban.

    2. What happened to those rear wing protests?

      1. There was nothing to protest……

    3. I wonder if Ross Brawn and co think that Baku was a great advertisement for sprint races?

      1. @eurobrun A good track for it, but with the new ‘grand slam’ idea, I doubt Baku will get to represent F1 in this way

    4. Helmut Marko confirms the Red Bull Ring considered whether it could run its track in reverse to hold its extra race this year, but had to shelve the plan, while noise concerns have made extending the circuit between turns one and three unfeasible.

      I may be out of a limb here, and I am sorry, but this is such a bull! Why the hell would a person go live by a friggin race track and still feel in the right to complain about noise? In that regard, why any governing body should give reason to this nonsense?
      That’s beyond bizarre.

      1. Look up the history of Circuit Mt. Tremblant.
        Used to be in the middle of nowhere.
        20 years later, people built McMansion cottages near it.
        Then, same people complained the track was noisy and sued. And won.
        Now it’s basically unusable.
        Such BS.

        1. @nanotech and @niefer The exact same thing happened with Brands Hatch which is why that can only hold a limited number of ‘loud’ events a year now.

        2. @nanotech, yeah. I could understand if they built the track after the houses but when the racetrack was there first I cannot fathom how these lawsuits have any leg to stand on.

          Same thing happened here in my neck of the woods. There is a track built in the 50s or 60s when there was hardly anything close by. Through time the surrounding area was developed and the people that moved in started complaining about the noise etc. and then started suing to limit how the track can operate and to prevent any kind of renovation or improvement. Now finally the track was sold and is going to be developed into a new neighbourhood.

      2. I think every historic restaurant and bar owner around the world has asked the same question a million times. Sadly it’s not for the FIA to decide, it’ll be whomever the local municipality / council / government is.

        The residents will be the ones who vote them in, nobody in the F1 circus (not even Helmut) vote. So they’ll stick with the residents, even though when they bought their picturesque house, they must have spotted the racetrack.

        In their defence, it is in regard to going back to the the original track, perhaps when they put their house there they were told that the track wouldn’t be put back to it’s original length.

      3. The same happens with airports. People buy cheap homes near them (cheap because of the noise), the. Start complaining about the noise.

      4. The same happens with airports. People buy cheap homes near them (cheap because of the noise), then start complaining about the noise.

      5. To be honest, the way the track is situated, it is hard to NOT get noise out. The track is on the face of a ridge of hills, so it is somewhat elevated, which would make the noise carry further. Behind the track are woods, possibly nature reserve. There is a pretty big town quite close to that.

        On the other hand, I think the RB airfield is right next to the track, sandwiched in between the access road and the highway a bit further (which also makes noise). It could be though that the total of the highway and the track exceed general noise limits for areas where people live.

    5. I am no Helmut Marko fan, and I absolutely dislike his way of managing the Red Bull driver program, including his quotes about Mercedes and particuarly Verstappen, but I am absolutely down to racing in Austria at reverse, that would be great, but I don’t think that it is possible, and may require a one year notice in advance for preparations… You never design a race track to run in both directions… Or did they?

      1. I think it’s probably a non-story to generate some interest for the two races.

        It’s a bit like me announcing that I’ve decided not to run for FIA President this year. It was never going to happen anyway, but now that I’ve said it you’re thinking about the FIA presidential election and who IS running.

        If we just consider T1 at the Red Bull Ring, there’s a concrete wall running adjacent to the start/finish straight all the way past T1 into the run-off. For a reverse race it would mean driving the fastest section of the circuit from T3 to T1 head-on towards a concrete wall with no run-off. Impossible.

      2. No wonder he’s 100% atrocious.

    6. I don’t mind that alternative track layouts don’t exist for Red Bull Ring.
      For this reason, Circuit Paul Ricard would be a better choice for racing on two weekends, but I assume RBR either offered more for the double or PR wasn’t willing to double the hosting fees at all. Anyway, it is what it is.

      Re COTD, I partly agree on the light panel warnings, but otherwise, a clear-cut case.

      1. Could a Paul Ricard short circuit be possible nowadays?

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