Carlos Sainz was left angry at himself post F1 Azerbaijan GP after not being able to put together the grand prix, as Mattia Binotto talks about progress.
After his podium in Monaco GP, Ferrari’s Sainz was confident of success in F1 Azerbaijan GP, if not a Top 3, but a solid points finish to build-up on his adjustments with the car. It is still learning period for him, but he has done fairly well to sync with the new machine.
Although it has been smooth per se, but Azerbaijan GP was not the case, with multiple offs for Sainz. It also came at crucial junctures, which cost him dearly. The first one was during Q3, when he went off after the crash for AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda.
Whether it was loss of momentum or anything, it cost him track position for the race. In the grand prix, as well, he made couple of mistakes, which included an off in the same Turn 2 corner. Post red flag, he nearly had another off, before managing to stop the car.
Sainz was saved by Antonio Giovinazzi hitting the back of Daniel Ricciardo, which meant, the Australian couldn’t pass the Spaniard, as he ended up eighth eventually behind Alpine’s Fernando Alonso, who benefited from the mistakes of his fellow countryman.
For Sainz, he was left angry certainly, even though, he managed to score decent points to help Ferrari in the larger fight against McLaren. “Obviously, I’m very angry with myself and with the fact that once again, I didn’t manage to put a whole weekend together,” he said. “I suffered a lot whenever the front tyre was a bit cold, both at the start and after the pit stop, and on the second start, the safety car restart.
“I was struggling to feel the front tyre and I was front-locking a lot. It cost me a few positions. Obviously the pace hasn’t been an issue. I think the pace has been strong all weekend, and today the race pace, although it wasn’t at the level of the Red Bull and the Mercedes, it was still very strong.
“So personally, I still take the positives that the pace itself in the car is very good. But I need to improve in this area with the cold feeling of the tyres,” summed up Sainz, as he then explained the reasons for going off for multiple times in the weekend.
“Basically, when I left the pits on the hard, I was immediately very surprised with the lack of grip,” said Sainz. “We actually ran the hard in FP1, and in FP1, they warm up, maybe because the track was a lot hotter, it wasn’t so much of an issue. Immediately when we left the pits, or when I left the pits on the hard, I was a bit all over the place, and I was struggling a lot with front locking.
“Then probably in Turn 8, I misjudged the grip I had, and I probably lost a bit the concentration thinking about other things, and just braked that tiny bit too late, too hard, which meant I locked up the two front tyres, and decided to take the escape road rather than crashing. I think I lost something like 20, 25 seconds of race time there, flat-spotted my two front tyres, and obviously I was really, really angry, angry with myself.
“Then the recovery from there, with the front tyres a bit flat-spotted, was good. I had the pace I was expecting to have. It was good. But as I said, I locked the fronts in Turn 2 at both of the starts, then I locked the fronts in Turn 8 with the hard tyres. So it’s definitely a weakness that I need to address, and something that maybe is part of my adaptation to the car and trying to find the way to make me feel a bit more comfortable with these front cold tyres conditions, see how I can get better at it and find ways to mitigate it,” summed up Sainz.
With Charles Leclerc ending up fourth, Ferrari managed to score more from McLaren, which helped them to be two points ahead of the British F1 outfit in the constructors’ standings. For Binotto, it is a good progress from 2020, but still not enough to be at the front.
Even though they scored points, Binotto felt the race did not pan out the way they were hoping to. “Not the best race from us,” he said to written media. “We were expecting something better after the quali. It has been a difficult race. We have not been perfect in many areas. Overall the result is what it is, but as usual, it may be a lesson learned.
“There are things that can be improved, I’m pretty sure that reviewing the entire race, we will find areas of improvement and that’s important for us. Overall, it’s still a good weekend, and we should keep our heads up and positive. We had made a pole, which I think was outstanding. Second pole in a row, showing the progress of the team and the car.
“And finally, Ferrari are third in the constructors’ championship. Since the restart of the season, it never happened. Even if it’s only by two points. it’s showing somehow that we are progressing. I think there are positives in the weekend, but certainly again as I said, things to be learned, and I think from now, now we’ve got three races in a row in the next weeks, which will be important.
“So certainly at Ferrari, we remain focused, concentrated and fighting to get better in the future. We are progressing because eventually we are learning the cars, we are exploiting it better compared to the start of the season. And we know that there will be some developments coming in the future. So overall, I think that’s where we are,” he summed up.
Here’s video of Carlos Sainz going off: https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/video.2021-azerbaijan-grand-prix-sainz-locks-up-into-run-off-area.1701821388933745157.html
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