It was an early end to Carlos Sainz's Austrian Grand Prix as he retired with an engine failure with on lap 57 of 71 – and his Ferrari caught fire in the process.
The Spaniard maintained P3 at the start and was able to use the superior pace of the Ferrari car to run in P2 during the second stint. His pace was strong as the gap between himself and Leclerc fluctuated between 3 to 6s.
Just as he was about to overtake Verstappen for 2nd – after he had pitted for a second time 14 laps on from the Dutchman’s second trip to the pits – his engine expired in huge fashion.
Thankfully the Spaniard was able to jump out of the car as the fire spread around it. Sainz had been waiting for help from the marshals as he wanted to avoid his car rolling back down the hill and on to the track.
“For sure it was not an ideal and easy situation because I saw in my mirrors that the car was catching fire,” he told MotorLAT and other selected media outlets.
“But at the same time, I was pressing the brake – and as soon as I tried to jump out, I saw the car went backwards and I didn’t want to leave the car completely free, out of control and 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.
“I think it was just at time that the first marshal arrived and stopped the car. It’s definitely something we need to look at what we could have done a bit faster because it’s not the easiest situation to be in.”
A second DNF in four races because of reliability gremlins sees Sainz now 75 points adrift of championship leader Max Verstappen.
“I am a bit lost for words because this is obviously a big loss of points and result for the team today because I think it could have been an easy one-two,” Sainz told Sky.
"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, to do a very big result for the team and one of the cars DNF.”
"It is heartbreaking but we will need to keep pushing, turn the page and it is still a long season ahead."
🇦🇹 It's difficult to find the right words...A 1-2 was pretty straightforward but we had to retire. Good amount of points lost for both championships but I'm feeling better and better in the car. Congrats to Charles for the win! We'll keep pushing— Carlos Sainz (@Carlossainz55) July 10, 2022