Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz explains how wind can force errors from a driver, despite how it may appear to be an excuse.

A common occurrence in F1 is for drivers who have crashed to attribute their accidents to the wind – a reason some fans scoff at, dismissing the notion that wind could be the cause for an accident as an excuse used by drivers. However, Sainz stresses the impact of wind on an F1 car, and says it is greater than fans may think.

The Spaniard explains that significant wind can change a car’s characteristics – something which has the potential to be greatly consequential when a driver is attempting to find the limits of their car. “It’s a very common driver excuse now to say that pretty much every crash or every moment we have is wind dependent,” said Sainz.

“But it is actually really difficult out there with these cars with the wind. It’s very difficult to explain to [media and fans] what we feel in the car, but the changes in grip and balance there is depending on 5-10kph gust of wind that can catch you out is huge. And we are out there trying to push the limits of the car – particularly me, I don’t know where that limit is.

“I’m trying to expose that limit to try and see how car behaves in those extreme conditions. And yeah, I did a couple of mistakes that I was happy to make and willing to make, it was also the plan of the test,” Sainz said of wind and its impact on his own mistakes.

The season-opening weekend and test preceding it featured a myriad of spins as a result of wind, which was particularly strong in Bahrain – and even caused a sand storm at one point in the pre-season F1 testing.

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