28 July 2015
F1 Hungarian Grand Prix: Sainz frustrated by reliability, disappointed by strategy
Carlos Sainz had more than one reason to be annoyed after the Hungarian Grand Prix, as another F1 points finish went begging.
Carlos Sainz is getting used to retiring from point-scoring positions, but it doesn't mean he is happy with the situation.
Following DNFs when well-placed to score in both Austria and Britain, the Spaniard was again forced out of a top ten spot in Hungary when going well in the Toro Rosso. Team-mate Max Verstappen went on to record a career-best fourth place having run in close company with Sainz for much of the race.
“I had to hold off Fernando [Alonso] with an option [tyre] and a Lotus with an option and I think I was doing a good job,” the rookie reflected, “I was holding on but suddenly, just after Fernando overtook me, I ran out of power and everyone started to fly past. I have no idea [what the problem was]. I ran out of battery first – in the middle of the straight, I couldn't go over fifth gear…
“It's the third consecutive race where we are in the points - and obviously, this time, there are much more points to be scored - but it's the third consecutive race where we don't finish. The performance is clearly there – the car was good, the pace was great – but [reliability] is letting us down. It's difficult to take but, sometimes, this sport is like that. We have the summer now to calm down, reset a bit and go for the results in the second half.”
It wasn't only the lack of reliability that frustrated Sainz in Hungary, however, as he felt he could have been even better placed had Toro Rosso planned its pit-stops more effectively. The Spaniard claimed that he lost ground to rivals on both of the stops he managed before being forced out of the race on lap 61.
“I'm a bit disappointed with the way that we planned the pit-stops,” he confirmed, “One time we had to undercut the Williams, when I was stuck behind him, and we didn't do it, [but] the cars behind me, both Fernando and Max, did. Then, in the last stint, I was right behind Fernando, he pitted for options for the last part of the race and I didn't, despite knowing the option is so much quicker. There are two or three points there to analyse, to see why we are also not taking the right decisions. It's a real pity, but it is how it is…”
Sainz's retirement, allied to team-mate Verstappen's unexpected fourth place, has stretched the championship gap between them from one point to 13 as F1 heads into its summer break, but Toro Rosso remains just four points behind Lotus, in seventh overall.
“I'm not concerned at all about my performance, because I know that I was also up there,” Sainz concluded, “It's upsetting and difficult to accept another retirement right now, but at least today Max was able to score some good points which is great for the team.”
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