Nov 26, 2017

Carlos Sainz retires from the Abu Dhabi GP after an issue in pits

The Spaniard of Renault Sport F1 Team finishes his best-ever season in Formula 1

Yas Marina, November 26th 2017.- Carlos Sainz retired from the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the last race of the 2017 Formula 1 World Championship. A loose wheel-nut ended his chances of fighting for a point-finish when he was racing for the eighth place. The Spaniard of Renault Sport F1 Team finishes his 2017 season in the ninth place of the World Championship with 54 points in total, his best-ever year since his arrival to the series.

The last race in the calendar promised to be an intense one for the Spaniard, who was anxious to fightback from the twelfth place of the Starting Grid to help his team in its pursuit for the sixth place in the Constructors’ Championship. The equal level of the mid-field teams and the small chances of overtaking in the Yas Marina forced him to follow a different strategy, which later proved to be better.

Carlos started from the twelfth place of the grid. He maintained his position in the pack. Shortly after, he started attacking Fernando Alonso lap after lap, looking for an overtaking opportunity. But the dependency of modern cars in their aerodynamics, combined with the characteristics of the Yas Marina Circuit, made his life difficult.

Carlos changed strategies and avoided an early pit-stop to try and do an overcut on his rivals. He was twelfth in Lap 16, when the pit window opened. He stood on track until Lap 31, using the ultrasoft tyres he had since the start and picking-up his pace each time he crossed the finish line.

Carlos’ pit-stop was a quick one, but the wheel-nut on the front-left tyre was loose and fell off as Carlos joined the track. He was forced to retire, just when he was about to overcut Alonso and Massa. The team predicted he would join in ninth place, with a real chance of fighting for the eighth position.

With this result, Carlos ends a memorable 2017 season. The six points he scored in his maiden race with Renault in the United States, together with the points scored by his teammate Nico Hülkenberg in Brazil and Abu Dabi, were crucial for the Enstone-based team to reach the sixth place in the Constructors’ Championship, the goal they had pursuited in the last few months.

Carlos said as he returned to the paddock: “It has been a very intense year for me, and a very satisfying one too. I’ve achieved my best results in Formula 1 and I’ve worked with two teams, the one that gave me the opportunity to get into formula 1 and the one where I will continue working in my career. It is very positive”.

“About today’s race, it is a shame that we couldn’t make it until the end. Our pace was very good. No one wants to see things like what happened today at the pit-stop, but these things can happen. We all make mistakes during the racing season. I want to thank the team for the great effort they’ve put during this time”.

Today we could have finished ninth and that was no-easy job, so I am happy”, he explained.

The Spaniard talked about his debut with Renault. “Four Grand Prixes in which we have worked a lot for next year. I didn’t want the season to end... Luckily, we have the tests here in Abu Dhabi to test a few bits. Then we will take a rest… and work for 2018! In the end, my preseason began when I made it to the team in the United States and will finish in March when we travel to Australia. Let’s keep going”, he concluded.

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was the final event of the  2017 Formula 1 season. Teams and drivers will now prepare the 2018 World  Championship, which will begin in the last weekend of March in Australia.  Before, though, teams will travel to Europe to test the new cars during the  preseason. On Thursday and Wednesday, November 28th and 29th,  teams will enjoy two days of testing in Abu Dhabi. As always, we will keep you  updated on Carlos via his official website  and our Twitter account  @carlosainzinfo.