Sainz: "Weird" season not reflective of my progress at Renault

Renault driver Carlos Sainz believes his 2018 Formula 1 campaign has been “weird” in that his results have not been reflective of his progress.

Sainz: "Weird" season not reflective of my progress at Renault

Sainz has enjoyed a solid opening half to the 2018 season, scoring in eight of the 12 races so far and sitting 11th in the standings on 30 points.

He was hit by late engine trouble in France, suffered a DNF at Silverstone and picked up a 10-second penalty for passing under the safety car at Hockenheim, and trails seventh-placed teammate Nico Hulkenberg by 22 points in the championship.

Hulkenberg is being retained by Renault next season alongside the incoming Daniel Ricciardo, with Sainz leaving the team after one year and likely to either replace Ricciardo or seek refuge outside of the Red Bull pool, possibly at McLaren.

“It's been weird, because I was achieving a lot of points at the beginning of the year without being 100 per cent comfortable with the car, and working very hard to get it a bit back [to where I was comfortable],” said Sainz before F1’s summer break started.

“I think Barcelona was a good turning point, where I was able to get that stability, that confidence with the car.

“And since then, a lot of things have happened to me on race day and the points suddenly are not coming, even if I'm pretty confident with the car.

“Paul Ricard was a good example, where we have an engine issue and issues towards the end.

“We did a perfect weekend, then a good qualifying in Austria, and in Hockenheim with the old front wing, and running in the points always.

“But situations on Sundays have made me miss on quite a lot of points, and sometimes a championship doesn't reflect the whole picture of the year.”

Tyre wear has proven to be an issue for Renault this season, with Sainz conceding Austria was a “wake-up call” and a “turning point” in how the team understands tyre management.

Sainz says Renault has changed its approach to races, but is adamant the team knows what is causing the issue.

“Since then we've been a lot more cautious and a lot more realistic that we do have a problem with tyre wear come Sunday, or come Friday and we make it better for Sunday,” said Sainz.

“So we are working very hard on it, and some races will be better, some races will be worse. But at least we know why we have the issue, and how to approach it.

“Still I think we need to manage more than our direct competitors, but I think we at least have the understanding and the knowledge of it.”

Carlos Sainz Jr., Renault Sport F1 Team R.S. 18

Carlos Sainz Jr., Renault Sport F1 Team R.S. 18

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / LAT Images

shares
comments
Massa was "upset" by Stroll's "no guidance" claims

Previous article

Massa was "upset" by Stroll's "no guidance" claims

Next article

Brawn is wrong over potential F1 electric move, says Agag

Brawn is wrong over potential F1 electric move, says Agag
Load comments
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Prime

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Tim Wright.

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Prime

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? Stuart Codling talks to the man in charge.

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Prime

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Prime

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers Prime

How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Turkish Grand Prix driver ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for Turkey glory Prime

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for Turkey glory

Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form Prime

How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form

A Formula 1 pitstop is a rapid-fire blend of high technology and human performance. PAT SYMONDS describes how the science of margin gains makes stops so quick

Formula 1
Oct 10, 2021