11 October 2015
F1 Russian Grand Prix: Sainz disappointed as brakes put halt to strong race
Carlos Sainz bounced back from his hospital bed to take his Toro Rosso into the points at the Russian Grand Prix, but there was to be no storybook ending for the Spaniard...
Twenty-four hours earlier, it wasn't clear whether Carlos Sainz would even be near the grid for the Russian Grand Prix, but the young Spaniard was still disappointed not to have got something out of the race.
A crash in third practice left many fearing for the rookie's health on Saturday morning but, despite missing qualifying for an overnight stay in hospital, Sainz was indeed lining up at the back of the field after gaining the necessary medical clearance to compete in Sochi. And he did not disappoint, avoiding the early mayhem to work his way up the order, and looked to be on course for a remarkable points finish before his twin nemeses – brakes and turn 13 – returned to thwart him.
“It is a bit of a disappointment for sure, although I'm happy to be here after doing a good race, a good performance, in difficult conditions,” Sainz insisted, “I just have to be thankful for the whole team even though we've had a problem. They did a great job for me to be racing out there today – the car was in perfect condition, no problems, throughout the whole race. I need to thank them because they did a great job yesterday, trusting me that I was going to come back today and having the car ready.”
Coming from the back of the grid, Sainz quickly picked off the slower cars immediately ahead of him and, having successfully negotiated the accidents involving Nico Hulkenberg and Marcus Ericsson – which also affected Toro Rosso team-mate Max Verstappen – and Romain Grosjean, he climbed his way into the points positions before succumbing to brake failure with the chequered flag in sight.
“I started P20 and, after ten laps, I was a bit dizzy after doing so many esses behind the safety car in order to keep the tyres warm!” he joked, “But, after that, I began to feel good again, and was able to start pushing and found myself P7 with great rhythm and great pace going to the end.
“However, 20 laps from the end, they told me I had a lot of vibrations from the brakes. We were very tight on brakes and temperatures to the end so I started saving brakes, saving everything. I was still holding a good pace but, suddenly, in turn 13 – again – the brakes went...”
Fortunately, the impact was nowhere near that of Saturday's meeting with the barriers and Sainz attempted to rejoin, only for his rear wing to fall apart as he did so.
“I was putting [the balance] rearward to save the front brakes, but the brakes just broke down so there was nothing you could do,” he sighed, “Yesterday, it was the brake balance shift, a brake balance problem, but today it was a 'I ran out of brakes' problem...”
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