Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz says he will need to do “a lot of catch-up” today and will probably go into the race “a bit blind” after a troubled started to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend.
Sainz, who missed the race in Brazil last time out due to technical issues, has been plagued by a number of gremlins this season and he had more problems on Friday during practice at the Yas Marina.
Indeed after running down on power in FP1, he then had to park his car at Turn 7 in the second evening session, with 30 minutes remaining.
“We had an oil leak problem during the long run and the engine for safety reasons turned itself off,” he explained. “At least it is not damaged – it was just a precautionary action that the engine does when it feels something strange.”
Asked if it is the engine he will have to use in the race, he replied: “Yes. It is an engine that has suffered obviously during today [Friday] because we had many, many problems also in P1. We were down on power due to overheating the MGU-K and a water leak. We are tight on engines.
“We have another option - but that engine overheated in Mexico during the race. So we are tight on engines, as I say, but at least we have them and we will not take a penalty.
“Whether or not we will finish the race is a question mark.”
Sainz also revealed that using a completely new Renault power unit is not something that is being considered.
“That is not an option because it would mean we would have to take a penalty and then the whole weekend would be compromised. So we need to risk it a bit with these two 'weapons' that we have,” he added.
Meanwhile despite all his woe, Sainz said he is hopeful he can still finish the year well.
“I really wanted to have a clean weekend and have a good end to the season, but after [what happened on] Friday it is difficult,” he continued.
“I missed out on a lot of running in FP1. I haven't done a practice start yet because they are at the end of the session and I haven't finished any session. I ran down on power in FP1 and in FP2 didn't do a long run. Also the only time we have decent track temp [in FP2] to compare with qualifying we didn't run. FP3 is a session that we could even afford not to do it because it is not representative and so our weekend is now a bit compromised.
“We need to do a lot of catch-up, especially in qualifying and then the race will be a bit blind, but we will go for it and still finish the season on a high, hopefully.”