Carlos Sainz talks about the disaster in F1 Austrian GP where he reckons Ferrari lost a 1-2, while Mattia Binotto adds on possible issue.

Fire is still part of and parcel of the sport in 2022 and always will but thankfully fire related deaths are a thing of the past as things stand. In 2020, Romain Grosjean survived his fireball in Bahrain and it has been a long time since such an incident and of course many drivers have not been so lucky.

A week on from his glory day at Silverstone and Sainz suffered a power unit failure with 15 laps remaining. It is not the first issue like that this season for the Maranello team but the manner in which it went ablaze was spectacular. Not just that but as per the Spaniard himself, he had little or no warning about what was about to unfold.

“As soon as it happened really, there was nothing coming from the engine that this was about to happen,” said Sainz. “It was very sudden and I’m bit a lost for words because it is a big loss on points and it would have been a huge result for the team. I think it would have been an easy 1-2.”

It certainly looked like a Ferrari 1-2 coupled with the tyre issues being suffered by Red Bull and would have been a tremendous fillip for Ferrari in their Constructors championship quest but for now a lot of damage on one half of the Ferrari garage and a headache from a cost cap viewpoint too.

“I saw fire,” said Sainz. “There is damage for sure which is not ideal. It is something that we need to look at. The pace was there the degradation was very low on our car, we were fast so. I will take it and turn the page as soon as possible.”

It is indeed a pity as Ferrari certainly did not have the tyre issues that Red Bull had and they certainly seemed to be in their groove in the weekend just gone but for now a reset for the French Grand Prix in two weeks time.

“For sure it is more difficult to take because we were about to cut the points to the leaders of the championship, both Max and Red Bull. We were about to do a very big reset for the team and one of the cars DNF’d so it is heart-breaking but we need to keep pushing. There is a long season ahead,” said Sainz.

Indeed, it is only the halfway point and still a lot to play for. But a worrying factor about the Sainz retirement was the reaction of the fire marshal at the time of the incident. With fire engulfing the car, the Spaniard was gesturing to them to tend to the fire quickly. Because of where he retired, there is a steep slope and the Spaniard was reluctant to leap from a burning vehicle which would have been left rolling backwards.

“It was not an ideal and an easy situation for sure, because I saw in my mirrors that the car was catching fire,” said Sainz. “But at the same time, I was pressing the brake. And as soon as I tried to jump out, I saw that the car was running backwards, and I didn’t want to leave the car completely free out of control rolling backwards while jumping out.

“I was calling the marshals to come and help me, to put something on the tyres to stop the car rolling down but I think the whole process was a bit slow. And at some point, there was so much fire that I had to really get a move on and jump out independently. I think it was just at that time that the first marshal arrived and stopped the car,” summed up Sainz.

The incident has drawn world wide criticism form the motorsport fraternity and Sainz himself concurs that there definitely should be something done by the FIA to speed up the process when such an incident happen. Yeah, it’s definitely something we want to look at; what we could have done a bit faster, because it was not the easiest situation to be in.”

But a track marshal shared his view on why it was late for him to reach the spot:

From Binotto side, it was a bitter sweet weekend with Leclerc taking a win but Sainz suffering his spectacular engine issue. “Obviously we need to look at what happened. Is it the same we had already in Baku with Charles? Very likely.

“It’s certainly a concern, but the people back at Maranello are working very hard try to fix things. Obviously, looking at what happened to Carlos, it has not been solved yet. But we have new elements and I know how strong they are working and how good they are. I can count on them that it will be addressed very soon, and hopefully as soon as possible,” said Sainz.

Halfway through the season and Ferrari would appear to have got back in the groove. A terrific start to the season with Leclerc’s successes by two. They then had to sit back and take it on the chin as Red Bull started to dominate to an extent but the last weekends have seen back to back wins for the prancing horse.

Here’s Charles Leclerc on his much needed win

Here’s Carlos Sainz losing the race: