While his teammate Charles Leclerc got back to the top of the pack at the Austrian Grand Prix; Carlos Sainz was forced to exit his car when his engine suddenly failed and erupted into flames.
The Spaniard accident caused some debate. When he exited the track and parked at turn 4, the steep slope meant his car kept rolling backwards when he stepped off the brake to try and escape the inferno.
A marshal arrived and placed a block behind a tyre to stop it from rolling, however Sainz labelled the process “a bit slow”.
The marshals clarified in a statement that they were acting under instructions from Race Control. But the Spaniard stated that he was not meaning to criticise the trackside workers.
“I can understand why they wrote it because I guess what I said after the race felt like a criticism to them,” he said.
“I didn’t intend to come out at all with criticism, I am the first one that I always speak very highly about marshals and the heroes that they [are], the way they volunteer to be in these kind of situations and protect us.
“I never wanted to make it sound like a criticism to anyone. I just wanted to make sure it was analysed and see where we can do it better next time.
“It wasn’t a comfortable moment in the car. It felt a bit hectic at the time and a bit messy.
“The explanation didn’t arrive to me, I saw it through the media, which is maybe something I will need to talk [about] with the FIA.”
Sainz also believes further discussions are needed to speed up the response time to get to a driver that’s potentially in danger.
“If that is the procedure, it shows that we need to shorten the timings of the procedures, which is what I will discuss with the FIA,” he said.
“We just need to make sure how we can make it faster. If the car is rolling back, how do we react quicker? And how we will make it better this time?”
The issue with Sainz’s engine, which spectacularly failed during the closing laps at the red Bull Ring, had to be closely analysed.
Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto said it was “very likely” Sainz’s issue was closely related to what happened to the blend of old and newer parts on teammate Charles Leclerc’s engine that failed in Baku.
When asked about his engine situation ahead of practice starting at Paul Ricard, Sainz said the choice of whether to fit a new power unit and therefore accept a grid drop was “not [decided] yet” at Ferrari.
He added: “But there’s a chance we will put a new engine this weekend, which would involve a penalty. But we haven’t taken the final decision yet.”
Ferrari predicts that this weekend’s race will occur in some of hottest conditions F1 has encountered so far in 2022. This will of course add extra strain on engine reliability.
The team’s head of aero development, Diego Tondi, said this will mean “ensuring the power unit and the tyres perform at their best is a real challenge”.
“It’s up to those working on the aerodynamics to take the appropriate countermeasures,” he continued.
“We will use a medium-high level of bodywork cooling, using the apertures of the cooling gills on the upper part of the bodywork and we will work on the brake ducts to maximise rim cooling, with the aim of getting heat away from the tyres.