Sainz P6 after “losing too much due to graining” during F1 Qatar Sprint

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Photo Credits: Scuderia Ferrari


Carlos Sainz finished Saturday’s Qatar Sprint in P6 and with it brought three points to Scuderia Ferrari. However, with both Mercedes drivers finishing in front of him, it means the team are now 26 points behind the Silver Arrows in the Constructors’ Championship. Sainz called the Sprint a ‘very hard’ race after struggling – as many did – on the soft tyre compound.


Carlos Sainz started the Sprint P5 but would finish a further place back by the time the chequered flag fell. The Spaniard was 18.8 seconds behind the victorious Oscar Piastri and had struggled to hold rivals at bay as he endured severe graining.


“It was a very hard Sprint race today. We didn’t have any data on long runs so we decided to start on Soft, try to gain some places at the start and then manage the tyres to defend position.


“I managed to do a very good start and for the first few laps it looked like we could fight at the top. Unfortunately, we started losing too much due to graining compared to our rivals with the Mediums and sixth was the best we could hold on to,” explained Sainz.


Sunday’s Qatar GP will see the unfancied soft compound back on show again and Sainz was in a humourous mood when joking of a strategy: “I have another new soft. Maybe I’ll put it on for one lap, make the start of my life, and then box!”

Such a comment was met with appreciative laughter from the journalists in attendance before Sainz continued stating: “But at the same time tomorrow I’m on the dirty side of the grid, which today looked quite poor out there.”


However, what was no laughing matter is the fact that due to the much-publicised tyre concern, there may be three mandated stops on race day. Sainz had his own views about such a decision.


“Apart from that we have a new medium, new hard and two used mediums that look in a decent state. So, every stop we have plenty of tyres, even though I strongly believe that we should, with the FIA and Pirelli, [should] not risk it on the tyre delamination, because it is very fast corners here, and I wouldn’t like to see punctures tomorrow or anything like that in such a high-speed track,” stated Sainz post-race in the paddock.


The Lusail circuit kerb issue means that Sainz is now facing the prospect of competing in a race where the strategy is mandated. On this issue, Sainz is in support of it but feels the communication requires improvement after the drivers effectively found out the news at the same time as the general public due to it coming through the media. 


“If safety is necessary then we have to do it,” said Sainz of the anticipated three stop requirement. “Obviously, I don’t appreciate and I don’t like that we were here in 2021, and in the meantime, there has been two years to react to these bad kerbs. There has been a resurface, a redone of the kerbs, and for some reason the FIA persisted with this design of kerb that is killing Pirelli tyres.


“I am not blaming Pirelli, but at the same time clearly there is something going on there and at the same time we arrived here today in the morning, and we see the news in the press. Nobody informed us that there is going to be [changes] to track limits, and no one tells us the tyres are delaminating or anything like that.

“We have to learn things from the press which is clearly not what or how things should be done. As GPDA we were not happy with the situation, and we hope that the collaboration starts getting better, because reading things from the press when safety is involved then our input should be considered, is not good enough,” concluded Sainz.


Looking ahead to Sunday’s Qatar Grand Prix, Sainz has it all to do as he starts from outside of the points paying positions in P12. However, with five DNFs on Saturday, it could be yet another race of attrition and unexpected points may still come the way of Sainz.

“We’ve learned important things for tomorrow and, even though it’s going to be a very challenging race for us, we’ll push until the end to get some more points,”