Carlos Sainz revealed a new engine had given him a new lease of life in qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix, finally resolving his cooling issues.
The Spaniard had encountered the problem at last weekend’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix and, during Friday practice in Barcelona, even a chassis change had brought no improvement.
“New engine, new life,” said Sainz, who has referred to the start of this season as being his most frustrating in F1.
“Finally I think we got to the end of the problem by changing the engine, so I’m happy with that.
“Honestly, I didn’t like the engine I had before – both in performance and reliability it was not giving us much.”
🇪🇸Good qualifying in general. P7 is a good starting position, we’ll take it from there. After the struggles on previous weekends we decided to change the engine and it seems like the issue is solved. Interesting race with hot temperatures. Let’s go!
— Carlos Sainz (@Carlossainz55) August 15, 2020
Although he felt he could have gone even faster in qualifying, Sainz remains hopeful of adding plenty more points on Sunday to the 15 he has collected so far this season.
“I wasn’t very happy with my last sector, I think I could have sneaked a bit more performance,” he said. “I was flying in Sector 1 but Sector 3 for some reason it never got quicker. But P7 is still decent.
“I think we can be reasonably happy and confident with the car. I’ve been getting more and more comfortable through the weekend and we’ve done the right steps with the set-up.
“We are in a good position for tomorrow – the Renaults looked to be flying yesterday on the long runs so they could be tricky to keep behind. But the rest, we are more or less there or thereabouts.”
Sainz’s team-mate Lando Norris also felt he could have gone faster after joining his colleague on the fourth row.
“We made some good improvements on the car before qualifying and looked a bit more competitive,” said the Englishman. “We didn’t think these hot temperatures would suit us as much.
“From my side, I made a small mistake on my final quali lap and only went a tenth quicker on my last set of new tyres compared to the old set, so a bit disappointed I didn’t extract more out of them but we’re still in a good position in P8.”
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