Ferrari have higher priorities than beating McLaren to third – Sainz

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In the round-up: Carlos Sainz Jnr said that he believes Ferrari’s internal struggle to prepare for 2022 is

In brief

Sainz: 2022 title challenge more important than taking third from McLaren

Ferrari will go into the summer break ahead of McLaren in the constructors’ championship if Sebastian Vettel’s disqualification is not overturned. But Sainz, who took third for the team in Hungary, said their priority is elsewhere.

“That battle is still on and it’s always going to be on until the end of the season, I think, because we are very close in performance,” said Sainz in Hungary.

“But as a team, we have higher priorities than beating McLaren to third in the constructors. I think we want to keep improving as a team and we want to keep building this this team to try and be as professional and as good, as complete as we can, for the opportunity to come next year to go and win the title [then] we are ready for it.

“So first comes the improvements as a team and then really the other one should fall as a consequence. But we are not really obsessed with the fight and we are focussed fully on trying to improve on trying to to be the best thing that we can be before the end of the season.”

Berlin finale to punish tyres

The Formula E season will come to an end in Berlin in two weekends’ time, albeit under less extreme circumstances than last year’s six races in nine days around the former Templehof airport circuit.

With track construction already underway, teams are looking ahead to a rapid-fire track reversal between the ‘conventional’ layout on Saturday and the reverse for Sunday’s rounds, with over half the grid still in reasonable title contention and an astonishing 18 drivers mathematically in the running.

NIO’s Tom Blomqvist, who drove the final round of last year’s finale for Jaguar, said Tempelhof tends to play to the strengths of particular cars. “It’s a track where it is slightly difficult to make a difference, it’s a unique surface, very hard on tyres and super-hard on energy.”

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Comment of the day

After Ferrari said Charles Leclerc may well incur penalties due power unit changes needed after the turn one crash in Hungary, DaveW says waiving penalties for driver whose damage was caused by rivals risking opening a can of worms.

I’m wary of going down this road. Trying to put teams in a status quo ante position with a power unit based on “fault” introduces a lot of complicated issues that are going to be technical as well as adjudicatory.

For example, fault is not always one-sided, and some theories of liability would preclude “recovery” where a victim contributed to his injury, or may favour recovery (only) proportional to fault to be more fair, meaning both sides should see some benefit. How does that work out?

Also consider that a free swap is going to be a performance advantage, since a new engine component may be both faster and depending on the timing may even obviate another component change. Then not all components are created equally—they have different potential life cycles and performance benefits.

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On this day in motorsport

  • 15 years ago today Nelson Piquet Jnr won the GP2 feature race at the Hungaroring

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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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30 comments on “Ferrari have higher priorities than beating McLaren to third – Sainz”

  1. COTD; highlights another reason why the “cost cap” will not be the easy auditing exercise that so many proponents claimed. Sorry CPAs, MBEs.

    1. So true @hohum “Cost cap” is a bad road to go down…

    2. McLaren is also facing significant costs as both cars were on the receiving end of accidents. ‘And I definitely will not go in the direction Horner is going, mentioning in every second sentence the cost cap and how much you get hurt by it by every accident on the track’. Seidl

      1. They are politically aligned with their PU provider, don’t you think so ?

    3. MBEs


      How would a cost cap work if they insure damage like this? I guess the premium becomes part but the repair bill not.
      Or maybe have the drivers at fault pay for the damage: thus Bottas in this case (and Hamilton 73.2% / Verstappen 26.8% of the Silverstone damage). The driver salaries are high enough and are not a part of the cost cap.

      And now thinking about it a bit more: The whole exterior of the car is used as a big advertising sign, and promotion/advertising costs are not part of the cost cap. Thus replacing bodywork with sponsor logos could be excluded as well.

      1. @jff, Oops, MBA of course.

    4. Waiving the cost if racing incident is one thing, but reimbursement by the guilty party should definitely be introduced. Like Ferrari taking a grid drop for a wrecked engine now through the fault of a competitor is completely wrong. Just follow the stewards ruling. The way it is now can’t continue.

  2. Electric go-karts would be fun at the Olympics.
    I’m sure the old F1 Racing mag carried an article suggesting/joking about it back in 2008! :D

  3. It was always Steve Nichols. I think that is why Prost said he brought him along to Ferrari. GM wasn’t even at McLaren when the precursors to the 4/4 were being designed by Nichols.

  4. I’m with Lucas, electric carts or something similar at the Olympics would be sweet.

    The problem arises when you start thinking more about it. You would have different Motorsports events, two wheels as well as four, off road as well as on road. Different types of car and bikes just like different weight categories in other sports.

    The whole thing would be more expensive than all the other sports in the Olympics put together.

    1. Jack (@jackisthestig)
      5th August 2021, 5:34

      Not for me. I don’t really see the point in the likes of golf and tennis being included when achieving Olympic gold isn’t the pinnacle of a sport. It would be just the same with a motorsport event.

      I think what makes the Olympics compelling is the significance of watching an event that the athletes have spent the past 4 years preparing for and have dreamed of winning all their lives.

      1. I agree with you there @jackisthestig. The “fun” of the Olymics is more in getting to see what quirky/lovely/funny sports exist at all with athletes who only get niche attention for much of the time outside that Olympic cycle.

        Well and Athletics sort of is the mainstay of it traditionally. Tennis, football, rugby, basketball, baseball as well as motor sports etc all have major leagues, grandslams, and grandprix and worldcups that get far more attention than most sports get even at their top events.

        Not to mention, that the Olympics are already far too big for their own good.

        1. Well and Athletics sort of is the mainstay of it traditionally.

          Pankration was one of the original olympic sports. I guess today’s WWE is the closest to that.

          1. someone or something
            5th August 2021, 16:20

            I can think of a long list of martial arts that can lay that claim (basically, all that have olympic representation, and then some), before show wrestling makes an appearance.

      2. @jackisthestig But doesn’t it take time for a new Olympic sport to grow in significance? For example, the professional tennis players didn’t really take Olympic tennis seriously at first, but it has grown in significance in recent years. It will probably never quite be considered the pinnacle of the sport, but its relevance has definitely increased with more of the top players now competing in it. I’m sure the same can be said of many other sports which were introduced in modern times to the Olympics.

        I wouldn’t really have a problem with it if they wanted to introduce some form of Olympic motorsport. If it helps build the profile of global motorsports then I don’t see the harm, even if it is not considered particularly prestigious at first. The only question is whether there would be enough interest to justify the associated costs, but if so then I’d give it a watch and see how it is.

      3. petebaldwin (@)
        5th August 2021, 14:36

        @jackisthestig – Yeah I totally agree. For me, at the very least, for an sport to deserve a place in the Olympics, all of the most talented people in that sport should be desperate to compete in it and I can’t see that ever working with motorsport.

        Unless winning a gold a the Olympics is the pinnacle of the sport, it just doesn’t feel right to have it there…

        1. someone or something
          5th August 2021, 16:31


          Unless winning a gold a the Olympics is the pinnacle of the sport, it just doesn’t feel right to have it there…

          I’m not sure that’s a good criterion. Football, basketball, handball, boxing, cycling, tennis, golf, arguably triathlon (long distance) …
          There are quite a few sports for which Olympic gold isn’t the undisputed pinnacle.

        2. Maybe spec cars, all equal, the drivers get some practice days, then the different lengths/durations/number of laps to compete in. Would be nice to see some old timers competing with young talent on a truely level field

  5. I’m with Murray, I don’t quite understand where the Nichols narrative has come from recently. When I was a boy it was Murray who was credited with designing the MP4/4.

    He was the technical head of McLaren at the time, having joined in 1987, and the MP4/4 is essentially a refined version of the Brabham BT44 (which was Murray’s last Brabham). The front end similarities to the MP4/3 are down to the fact that, as Murray says, Nichols did the monocoque and front end.

    1. @geemac
      Totally agree with you. I’ve read a lot of articles and heard a lot of testimonies about the MP4-4 and it seems that it follows – as you have suggested – Murray’s low-line design of his last Brabham. As for Nichols – who with all my respects doesn’t belong to the same bracket as Murray – haven’t had success outside of McLaren.

      Even the highly successful Ferrari F1-90 in which he oversaw the design after Barnard left the team was a developed version of the 1989 car with an upgraded engine and Ferrari finally getting on top of its sequential gearbox reliability issues. I think McLaren can end this debate once and for all because they surely still have the original drawings and technical meetings and archive relative to the MP4/4.

      Brabham BT44 (which was Murray’s last Brabham)

      You mean the BT55, though the BT44 was another fantastic car by Murray.

      1. Of course, the BT44 was far from his last Brabham!

  6. Sainz is gonna rebuild Ferrari.

    1. help rebuilding leclerc’s cars. All things considered sainz should be 50 points ahead not virtuallly tied.

  7. There’s good reasons Sainz prioritises sorting the team out. They’ve been abysmal in strategy calls, with only a few exceptions, disorganised and squandered opportunities for some years now. The finger of blame must point at management which strikes me as being rigid and appointments not made on merit. Very Italian style!
    I sympathise with the Tifosi, they deserve better.

    1. It is reported that they are currently working on plan X, Y and Z. They will turn the tables in their favour, for sure.

    2. They did finally got rid of strategist Rueda (well promoted him to sporting director and head of strategy), and the shots will now be called by Britishman Ravin Jain (26), but from what we’ve seen so far it hasn’t really been much of an improvement.

      When it comes to performance, the team has obviously also had some ups and downs this season, and so has Sainz like his Q2 crash last race for example.

      At least the blame culture is about to be sorted out with Binotto after decades and Marchionne’s passing, but that takes time and can also go too much the other way.

  8. It was an emotional weekend last year. I can’t help thinking how Correa is feeling when the circus arrives at Spa this year.

    1. Why did I wrote this here… it was suppose to go here.

  9. I’m not saying that motorsport isn’t tiring or physically taxing, but, comparing it to horse related events is not a good comparison. Anyone who has done horse riding knows that there is a great deal of physical input involved as well as trust between horse and rider.

    Should any motorsport be included in the olympics? I personally don’t think so.

  10. Old footage in Alfa Romeo’s tweet but still cute. From Finnish TV’s Styrian GP weekend preview, in case anyone’s interested.

    I agree with COTD. Giving leeway would indeed risk opening a can of worms.

    I somewhat disagree with Di Grassi, although I wouldn’t mind an awful lot.

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