Carlos Sainz, Ferrari, Hungaroring, 2023

Sainz “paid the price” of F1’s new tyre rule by missing top 10

2023 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Carlos Sainz Jnr says he “paid the price” for the Alternative Tyre Allocation ‘spicing up’ qualifying after he failed to reach Q3 in Hungary.

The Ferrari driver was eliminated from Q2 in 11th in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix, just two-thousandths of a second behind Fernando Alonso at the end of the session.

New experimental tyre restrictions for this weekend meant drivers were only permitted to run on medium compounds tyres in the second phase of qualifying. Sainz said that restriction did not work in his favour.

“I’ve been feeling a bit weird with that medium compound all weekend,” Sainz said in response to a question from RaceFans after qualifying.

“Every time I was running it, for some reason we were always struggling a lot in sector one, getting them to work. It was even harder than the hard tyre. So I knew Q2 was going to be the toughest session for us.

“In Q1, we got through nicely, but then as soon as I put that compound on again in Q2, I was just sliding a lot in sector one and never being able to put a decent lap together. That wasn’t too bad, but I just lacked quite a bit of grip. A shame, but it was only two-thousandths – which in this F1, those two-thousandths cost you a lot.”

Sainz said it was unfortunate he happened to struggle on the medium tyre compound at a weekend when drivers are required to use it in qualifying.

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“That’s what I think – [what] can spice up things today, I paid the price for it,” he said. “If they want to spice it up – I don’t think they need to – but if they want to mix things up a bit, then mix them up.

George Russell, Mercedes, Hungaroring, 2023
Gallery: 2023 Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying day in pictures
“But that’s why I don’t complain about quali and I complain a bit more about the free practice stuff.”

With team mate Charles Leclerc reaching Q3 but qualifying outside the top five, Sainz says Ferrari expected to have performed better heading into the weekend.

“It’s not like on the softs we were stellar either, but we were definitely more competitive on the soft tyres or harder tyres than on a medium compound,” he said.

“I think still not where we want to be. It was a track that we expected to be a bit more competitive also and now unfortunately we are P6 and P11, which is not where we want to be. So still some work to do, especially with the field bunching up as well.”

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2023 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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5 comments on “Sainz “paid the price” of F1’s new tyre rule by missing top 10”

  1. Same for everyone.

    1. It isn’t, the cars all handle the different compounds differently – and it’s not like Leclerc went through with buckets of time to spare either.

      Like Sainz said, Ferrari on the Medium was a challenge.

      1. Handling well on different compounds is up to teams in the end, so tough luck.

        1. it’s a gimmick designed to route the teams like mice through a maze. Its patently ridiculous and only interesting to the peeps who run the show. The real show stopper was the evolving track. And like Lewis said, they waste a lot more wet tires by the end of a race weekend, so there really isn’t any real justification for forcing the teams to behave like this, if only to jerk them around. Teams should be as free as possible to develop their cars and strategies. If anything, the FIA should restrict the most winning teams’ budgets. But not so much that it destroys their intellectual capital.

          1. I fail to see how forcing the teams to use one compound is that much different from all teams running the same compound in the whole of qualifying as they normally do. Or have you not noticed that bar maybe the fast teams running a medium to save a set of soft tires for the race, everyone runs the same soft tire every qualifying?

            The only thing that changed is that those who have apparently designed a faulty car that can only work well with one tire struggle a bit more.

            “Fix your ….ing car”

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