‘We should have been fighting for a win’ rues Sainz after early retirement

2022 Australian Grand Prix

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Carlos Sainz Jnr says problems on Saturday and Sunday in Melbourne cost him the chance to fight for victory.

The Ferrari driver started ninth on the grid after his final run in qualifying was delayed due to a technical fault. In the race he lost more ground at the start due to another problem, then spun into retirement.

“We had again a problem with the steering wheel, a similar problem to yesterday,” he explained. “There was a few buttons that were not working.

“We had to change the steering wheel and it meant that the steering wheel was not well positioned for the start and we triggered anti-stall in both starts because of the clutch and the torque.”

He spun off at turn 10 while trying to pass Mick Schumacher. “I was on the back foot and I tried to make up the places in the first three laps and I clearly made a mistake when the tyre was probably not ready to to start overtaking,” said Sainz. “I misjudged the grip and I made a mistake which caused me the retirement.

“So clearly not perfect, I haven’t been perfect this weekend. We haven’t been perfect as a team, clearly, and we need to analyse what we did wrong and see if we can come back better.”

Sainz believes he could have finished at least fourth and would have been in contention for victory without yesterday’s setback.

“For sure this car, in the worst possible scenario today, was to do top four with a good comeback. Without the issues of yesterday, without the issues of today, we should have been on the fight for the win.

“So to go away with zero points is very disappointing. We need to be more perfect as a team and this weekend we clearly haven’t been.”

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2022 Australian Grand Prix

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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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33 comments on “‘We should have been fighting for a win’ rues Sainz after early retirement”

  1. That was possibly Carlos’ worst weekend in his entire F1 career. It just went from bad to worse for him.
    But regardless of his issues with the car, you can’t afford to make such a silly error (especially because he already re-passed Schumacher before T9).
    Not only did it cost himself a lot of points, but his team as well. He needs to deliver in Imola, otherwise his role for the rest of the season is already defined.

    1. After today, his position has been defined already.

      1. Steveetienne
        10th April 2022, 10:57

        It was already defined last year but he has yet to realise that he is a number 2 driver.

        1. He’ll only ever be a Barrichello or Bottas to Leclerc. The sooner he realises this the sooner the can help win the drivers championship for him.

          1. Exactly. He made a big mistake today. His car had a second per lap pace advantage on almost every car except Charles’ and the RBs. The cars natural position is in the top 4. With Max DNF he would have been on the podium. He just needed to be patient. They will have a serious conversation with him about his tenure today and recalibrate him on his role in this team. This is rookie behavior.

    2. @srga91

      That was possibly Carlos’ worst weekend in his entire F1 career.

      No it wasn’t, he has played bowling down the midfield a fair few times. Canada with toro rosso and mugello with mclaren spring to mind. Honestly these are 2 examples out of a lot, this guy was overshadowed by Romain’s reputation when in fact he was causing more mayhem during their shared time in f1.

      1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        11th April 2022, 11:32

        Yea it was canada 2017. That to me was nearly as bad as what grosjean did at spa 2012. Total lack of spacial awareness. He has improved a lot since though.

        His overoptomistic lunge on stroll in bahrain 2017 was also possibly worse than this.

        1. @thegianthogweed and he immediately blamed Stroll.

          Forget sunday’s dnf, mistakes happen but Sainz jr almost caused an airplane crash with his spin. How lucky that he did not collect anyone and nobody T-boned him or swerved out of control.

    3. What infuriated me the most was his revving like a child, and refusing to leave the car promptly–asking to be pushed? Sure, it happened once or twice, but it’s been cleared up quite well since then.

      This behaviour isn’t fitting for F1

  2. The start mightn’t have been his doing, but the DNF-causing error certainly was.
    A slightly rookie-like error.

  3. Although he was unlucky in many ways, it is still not a good sign to retire from the race due to unforced driver error.

  4. They should change red flag in Qualy to be shown only from start of the lap til the incident, so that cars further round the lap could complete their laps. Unless a incident affects the whole track or the start finish straight of course.

    1. Davethechicken
      10th April 2022, 9:33

      I agree. Once again drivers needlessly victims of circumstance.
      The whole sc things needs revisited too. Alonso and Albion were screwed when the sc came out. It is unfair and fairly straightforward to remedy with an earliest arrival restart like vac when the sc pulls in.

      1. But then that affects the people behind the incident. Double edged sword

    2. Hiland (@flyingferrarim)
      10th April 2022, 14:55

      Absolutely not. Red flag means there is a safety concern. If medical needs to react immediately, they can’t have cars going full bore around the track. So no. Red flag in ALL racing series is to come to a controlled stop or very slow speed and to be prepared to stop. I understand Sainz was robbed as he was just 3 seconds from the line but thats just unfortunate. He still messed up with a driver error in the final run at the end in sector 1.

      1. Davethechicken
        10th April 2022, 16:36

        I take your point, but nearly all red flags in practice and qualy aren’t for safety concerns, ie to allow a medical team to rapidly assess a driver. they are because there is no valid alternative. Qualy is a lottery enough,. Red Flags in qualy for cars parked or crashed where there are no immediate concerns regards the driver, when a double yellow (or if had been in the race a sc) which would allow cars to pass safely could be done. Wouldn’t help those yet to come upon the incident however.
        Red flags in the race are different to red flags in other sessions in the vast majority of cases.

        1. Hiland (@flyingferrarim)
          11th April 2022, 2:18

          Then don’t use the red flag at all if safety isn’t for safety concerns. We can’t add special circumstances for specific situations as it will add confusion to the meaning behind the red flag. TBH, I don’t see the issue with what we saw in Qually.

    3. @romtrain Red flag means that all cars must get immediately into the pits . It is the fastest way to clear the track. Allowing cars to finish their laps would delays clearing the track by maybe 5 minutes, also it would force everyone that was past the red flag incident to go across it.

  5. Davethechicken
    10th April 2022, 9:35

    Albon not Albion and vsc not vac! Autocorrect meddling again!

    1. Davethechicken
      10th April 2022, 9:35

      Oh, I give up…

  6. Carlos better be focusing on his driving skills. Very expected error, which is alarming

  7. The usual Melbourne stinker, not materially improved from past cars or the original track layout.

    I hope Liberty’s lesson from today is to never have another season opener at this track.

    1. Sorry, posted this to the wrong article. Fine to remove if convenient.

    2. @proesterchen I thoroughly disagree

      1. @nvherman @ proesterchen love melbourne, and thoroughly enjoyed this weekend.

  8. Where leclerc shows a lot of constraint and growth, Sainz is the opposite.
    Brilliant driver most of the time, but when he screws up its massive.

  9. Excuses, excuses, excuses… It’s always somebody else’s fault, never his fault. While the issue at the start might have been out of his hand, with the car underneath him he could have finished in 4th position at least.

    1. ” I clearly made a mistake when the tyre was probably not ready to to start overtaking,” said Sainz. “I misjudged the grip and I made a mistake which caused me the retirement.”

  10. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    10th April 2022, 14:18

    This Ferrari’s a very good car and seems to have elevated Leclerc but Sainz seems to have stayed where he was. Decent, good on his day but prone to mistakes and a generally slower pace than a lot of drivers out there and crucially for him, Leclerc.

    1. Leclerc is just better. We already saw what he is capable of with a good car in ’19 whereas Sainz is considered good because he could keep up in a season with a weak car.

  11. Disappointing, can’t squander opportunities. Better drivers would’ve earned their keep in such situations.

  12. You can’t spin yourself out of the race by overdriving whatever the other bad luck. Staying in the race is the baseline. Not impressed.

  13. It’s concerning that his terminology is “we should have been fighting for the win”, technically “we” did win, Ferrari won. If he’s pitting one side of the garage against the other, it’s a bad sign and a sign of worse things to come.

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