Carlos Sainz believes “a change in the track” compared to previous years contributed to his huge crash in practice at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Only eight minutes had passed of FP2 when Sainz brought out the red flags at Yas Marina after spinning hard into the barrier at Turn 3, causing a delay of almost 30 minutes.
Sainz was in the dirty air of another car at the time of his off, with a bump in the track – highlighted by other drivers over team radio on Friday – also a factor in the incident.
Carlos Sainz walks away unscathed from Abu Dhabi practice crash
The Ferrari driver emerged unharmed from the accident and pointed to the bump as the cause of his crash, claiming the current ground effect F1 cars – running close to the track surface and fitted with stiff suspension – struggle to absorb bumps compared to previous generations.
He told Formula 1: “I’m feeling good. It was a pretty big crash, but in the end with these safe cars you can get away with these pretty big hits pretty untouched and that’s the case. I’m obviously a little bit sore but nothing to worry about.
“For some reason, there’s been a change in the track compared to other years. There’s two bumps – one at the exit of Turn 2 and one at the entry of Turn 3 – that is upsetting the car a lot with this new generation of car.
“It nearly caught me out in FP1. I changed a few things in the setup and the line trying to get rid of it and then for some reason – again in that lap – it surprised me. It must have been an angle, or the exact way that I took the bump, and it made me just a passenger from there on.
“We’ve seen before with this generation of cars that any of these small bumps can really make you spin, make you have a pretty heavy crash.
“So it’s not ideal, but it’s what it is. We will try and make it better tomorrow.”
Sainz, who dismissed fears that he will be forced to serve another penalty after dropping 10 places on the grid at the previous race in Las Vegas, admitted changes Ferrari made between the sessions may have also been a contributing factor to the crash.
He added: “We definitely changed things from FP1 to FP2, which might have had an effect, but obviously I’m not going to go into the details of that.
“But unfortunately I just couldn’t control the car, it just snapped on me and it is those moments where you feel like you’re a complete passenger and you wish you maybe would have done something different.”