Carlos Sainz Jnr, Ferrari, Spa-Francorchamps, 2021

More time to come from fixing “strange” handling balance – Sainz

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In the round-up: Carlos Sainz Jnr says there’s more time to come from his Ferrari once they cure its “strange” handling.

In brief

Sainz: “strange” car puts Ferrari outside top ten on pace

Sainz was 11th fastest finish in second practice at Spa-Francorchamps but believes there is more time to come from his car.

“At the moment we are on the verge of the top 10, which is not at the level that we were in Hungary or Silverstone, for example,” said Sainz.

“But at the same time, I feel like the car today felt quite a bit strange and there’s quite a bit of time to come from nailing a good set up for tomorrow and and improving it. So not great, but I also feel like there’s good potential.”

Russell: returning to F1 “like a duck to water” after break

George Russell, Williams, Spa-Francorchamps, 2021
Russell felt Williams were off the pace on Friday
George Russell said he was surprised how easy it was to climb back into an F1 car after the summer break.

“I’m happy to be back,” said Russell. “It’s been four weeks since I last drove the car. It felt like we got straight back into it, it’s weird how you can just jump in and you feel like a duck to water and it’s about as good.

“But [there’s] a lot to improve overnight, I think we’re a little bit off the pace. I’ve got some ideas up my sleeve so we just need to go over that. It’s always a compromise, there’s never anything that just gives you performance. But definitely going to have some interesting conversations to see what direction we go in.”

Doohan takes maiden F3 pole as the fight to hunt down Hauger steps up

Jack Doohan took his first Formula 3 pole position in a qualifying session run in mixed conditions. Doohan, who is currently second in the F3 standings but a distant 59 points away from leader Dennis Hauger, will start from 12th for tomorrow’s first race, run with a partial reverse-grid.

The session had started relatively dry and Doohan set his pole lap in the opening five minutes, under pressure to get a time in before the rain arrived in earnest. “It was, at one point, maybe the only lap we were going to get with the conditions as they were,” he said.

“You want to go as quick as you can, but you don’t want to ruin the lap because the conditions might get wetter and then you can’t get a banker lap in.

“I had quite a big moment up into the braking zone at Les Combes when both wheels locked but other than that it was quite calm and collected and luckily my sector two was quite mega which then enabled me to have a good gap to the rest of field.”

Chadwick on Spa pole after disrupted W Series qualifying

W Series qualifying was marred by a six-car crash up Eau Rouge-Raidillon, when drivers first went to set fast laps. However, points leader Jamie Chadwick was able to stay ahead of the majority of the field by nearly a second, beating title rival Alice Powell to pole by 0.721s.

“I’m really pleased with how qualifying went,” Chadwick said. “However, the red flag at the beginning, after quite a scary accident, was a worry. Of course, all the other drivers and I are just hoping that those involved are okay.

“Qualification was difficult with the conditions. Some parts of the track were raining and then some were bone dry. Weather like that is quite challenging to manage and you cannot make a mistake. It was tricky at the start of the session when the rain was falling, but when we got going again after the red flag I started to get some proper laps in.

“Anything could happen tomorrow, as we’ve seen with the weather at Spa before, so I have to be quick to react. But I’m just happy to be starting in the front row and I don’t mind if it is a wet or dry race tomorrow.”

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Comment of the day

After another serious crash at Raidillon, Rowmk9 looks at the tricky question of what can be done to avoid complacency on decreasing the risks there.

I like the older circuits with their challenging layouts and agree with the idea that mistakes should be punished, but I’m also uncomfortable with how many serious crashes are happening on this section of track.

I don’t want them to tame the corner, but maybe the run off needs to be deeper, and the return of gravel up there maybe? I think they’re renewing the circuit soon so probably are addressing it.

That said, I’m not sure there is a perfect solution but I think the option of doing nothing and waiting for the next fatal accident is not the right one.

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Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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4 comments on “More time to come from fixing “strange” handling balance – Sainz”

  1. The 2nd practice session replay on F1TV for Alonso is mostly from the helmet-cam. The first ~20 minutes are from roll-hoop, then switches back and forth, and from ~38 minutes to the end, it’s all helmet-cam.

  2. There is the old loop that was a left corner from Eau Rouge, a right turn/hairpin and then a left onto Radillion. Whilst it would change the layout and to some ways soften the circuit, it would also be returning a section of the original circuit.

  3. COTD: Easier said than done. Not much room for runoff area changes.

    On this day: Also the 2016 edition’s 5th anniversary.

  4. The helmet cam needs to stay, its great seeing the driver’s perspective and following their switch changes on the dash as they go round the lap.

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