Sainz set for grid drop at French Grand Prix – report

Michelle Foster
Carlos Sainz still in his Ferrari as the flames take hold. Austria July 2022

Spanish driver Carlos Sainz still in his Ferrari as the flames take hold. Austria July 2022

Carlos Sainz is expected to take a fourth PU at the French Grand Prix, bad timing for the Spaniard as Marca reports Ferrari’s reliability fixes aren’t ready to be raced.

Sainz’s third hybrid system went out with a bang at the Austrian Grand Prix, his car catching fire after his engine failed while he was chasing down second place.

It was his fourth retirement of the championship, and the third that was engine related.

While Ferrari could go rummaging through his older hybrid parts to make up an engine, Marca claims that with ‘mileage already at the limit’ that is not an option for a circuit such as Paul Ricard. ‘A fresh one is needed’.

The timing couldn’t be worse.

Although his team-mate Charles Leclerc has already taken an engine penalty, doing so at the Canadian Grand Prix, Ferrari had hoped that Sainz would make it through the summer break before he needed a fourth PU.

That’s now out of the window.

‘He will change engines and start from the back in France,’ reports Marca. ‘It will be the fourth and carries a sanction, without being in addition to the improved specification, which will arrive for Spa or Monza.

‘In addition Ferrari do not have the new improved specification ready in Maranello either, which is expected to be between Spa and Monza in September, the usual extreme speed races.

‘So Carlos will have a new engine, but with the current specification, which has constant reliability problems’.

The driver is expected to take on a new ‘internal combustion engine, which is expected to be accompanied by a turbo, battery and the MGU-K and H’ putting him at the very back of the grid.

Team boss Mattia Binotto admits he is worried about Ferrari’s PU reliability.

“It’s certainly a concern,” said the Italian, “but the people working back at Maranello are working very hard trying to fix them, which is not solved yet.

“And if you look at what happened to Carlos, it has not been solved yet.

“But we will have new elements and I know how hard they are working, how good they are and I can count on them that it will be addressed as soon as possible.”

Sainz’s retirement in Austria was also a blow to his championship hopes, the driver now 75 points behind Max Verstappen in the Drivers’ standings.


Highlights from the Austrian Grand Prix

Charles Leclerc took his first win in eight races, and Ferrari definitely needed it.