Apr 3, 2016

A puncture ruins Carlos Sainz’s options at the Bahrain GP

A mistake by Sergio Perez on the second lap causes an incident with the Toro Rosso

Manama, April 3rd 2016.- Carlos Sainz retired from the Bahrain GP on the 29th lap after a first half of the race that proved to be uphill from the second lap, in which Sergio Perez's Force India caused a puncture to his Toro Rosso after missing the breaking point at the end of the main straight.

Because of that incident, Carlos and Scuderia Toro Rosso were forced to improvise a different strategy. He visited the Pit-Lane to move from the punctured Soft Pirelli tyres to four units from the Medium compound. Nevertheless, Carlos' efforts were unrewarded as his STR11 had been damaged and it was not possible for the Spaniard to get back at his usual speed.

The decision to retire from the race was made after Carlos' second pit-stop, in which the team also analyzed the state of the car. He received a new set of Softs, but realizing that because of his harmed car he wouldn't be able to be competitive it was prioritized to save the engine and avoid completing kilometers that wouldn't have given him any points back in exchange.

Although the result is harsh, Carlos looks ahead and focuses on the Chinese GP, which will be held on the Shanghai International Circuit from April 15th to 17th.

These were Carlos' first words after stepping out of his STR11.

"That first lap was crazy. I had done a good start, I was ahead. Then ‘Checo’ came and hit me from behind. I had a puncture. Racing is like this. We then had a driving issue due to the puncture, as it left us with little downforce because it scrapped the rear end of my floor. I knew something was going wrong and adding mileage with that problem was not ideal".

"We decided to retire, because although we thought of the possibility of a safety-car appearance truth is it was very little likely as run-offs are massive here. And even if there had been one, the car was going very bad because of the damage to its floor. It wouldn't have changed much. I'm not happy because today we had potential to score many points. Now we just need to put this behind us and look forward to the next race in China in two weeks’ time, where we will come back stronger - we know that we have a good car and we can be fast", Carlos concluded.

Toro Rosso's Team Principal Franz Tost regrets Carlos retirement:

“Unfortunately, Carlos had a collision with Perez, which caused a puncture on the right-rear tyre at the beginning of his lap. As a result of this, while driving back to the pits, the floor also got damaged… We therefore ended up deciding to call him in, even though originally we made him stay out just in case there was a Safety Car period. This never happened so we ended his race prematurely as the car was very unstable in the rear because of the amount of downforce we had lost".