Carlos Sainz says Renault is at risk to its Ferrari-powered rivals Haas and Sauber until its new specification of engine is ready.

Renault has been wary of the growing threat from its Formula 1 midfield rivals in recent races, with both Haas drivers Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean consistently leading the pack behind the top three teams, while Sauber’s Charles Leclerc has also put the French team under threat.



Despite its useful 19-point advantage for fourth place in the F1 world constructors’ championship over Haas, Sainz feels Renault will remain under huge threat from its Ferrari-powered challengers with its current engine specification which debuted just last month.

Sainz is hopeful Renault’s ‘C-spec’ engine, predicted to be made available after the summer break having already begun dyno testing, can re-establish the team’s early season advantage on its midfield competition.

“Until we get our second upgrade on the engine that will come later in the season, I think we will just need to take our chances,” Sainz said. “At the moment they are incredibly quick. Incredibly quick.

“We will need slower tracks or different situations to make sure we don’t get overtaken in the championship because definitely those Haas and that Sauber look very, very competitive.”

Sainz feels Renault is managing to extract the maximum performance from its current engine specification, working on different settings during Friday practice ahead of the German Grand Prix, but saw his FP1 badly hit due to a seal leak with his engine.

“We’ve been testing different mappings and different stuff to try and extract a bit more performance from the PU side,” he said. “Even though it was working well it was giving us a bit more problems on drivability.

“It’s good as at least we are working and we are trying. It’s not easy nowadays with those Ferrari and Mercedes engines, but we are still trying.”

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