Saturday’s Qualifying and the pace of the STR12, the positives of the weekend
Spielberg, July 9th 2017.- Carlos Sainz could not finish the race at the Austrian Grand prix due to technical difficulties related to the power unit of his Toro Rosso STR12. The Spaniard struggled from the very first lap. Although he and his team worked together on a solution, in the end none was found and he returned to the pits on Lap 47.
Rain stayed away from the Red Bull Ring throughout the race, just as it did previously during Free Practice and Qualifying. The Grand Prix was therefore held in dry conditions, with an air temperature of 30 degrees Celsius and the track at 43.
Carlos started the race from the tenth spot on the Grid. He gained one spot in the start, although the engine was not delivering power as expected. The Spaniard avoided the incidents in Turn 1 and prepared for what it seemed to be a regular race. Nevertheless, the issues related to the power unit costed him place and positions in the following laps as fell from ninth to fifteenth.
Thanks to some adjustments that Carlos did in the cockpit together with his engineer, he stabilized his pace momentarily and even regained a few positions as his competitors started to pit. He himself visited the Pit-Lane on Lap 43 to change from ultrasoft to supersoft tyres. His intention was to complete the race with a single stop. But four laps later, Carlos’ race engineer Marco Matassa asked him to retire from the Grand Prix as the problem could get worse and there was no possible solution on the table.
When he got out of the STR12, the young Spaniard expressed his disappointment having struggled with his car from the very beginning. "I had an engine issue from the very first lap. The start was not very good because of that. The opening ten laps were especially hard. Later we tried everything and for 15 laps I played with the switches on my steering-wheel to try and get the car working. But the engine was not doing very well while exiting corners. We recovered a bit of pace, but we struggled all race long and in the end, we had to retire", he explained.
"It’s something new that I hadn’t felt before this season. It’s a pity, because we could have scored points. In the end, after the first lap I was ninth despite the lack of power. Now we must move on from this weekend".
Despite his retirement, Carlos feels positive overall about the event. "The positive is that I was happy with the balance of my car and that we managed to do some decent laps despite our issues. Yesterday we did a good Qualifying. Today we were in a position to score points and carry on our good streak of point-finish performances. But I am already thinking about Silverstone, which has always been a nice venue for me. I want to move on and just keep the positives about the weekend, which as I said was yesterday’s Qualifying", he concluded.
Formula 1 won’t rest for too long. The cars will travel now from Austria to Great Britain as the Championship prepares for one of the most historic races in the calendar. The always demanding Silverstone circuit awaits. The track brings good memories to Carlos, but for now we will just save the date. Free Practice will be on Friday 14th, Qualifying on the 15th and the Race on the 16th. As always, we will keep an eye on Carlos via his official website www.carlosainz.es and our Twitter account @carlosainzinfo.