Ferrari switches Sainz’s F1 engine after Australian GP off

Ferrari has made a precautionary move to change Carlos Sainz’s power unit ahead of the Formula 1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix following his off in Australia.

Marshals assist Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari F1-75, after a beaching in a gravel trap

The Spanish driver endured a tough Australian GP due to a series of problems, the culmination and frustration of which resulted in him spinning off while trying to attack Haas driver Mick Schumacher, having made a poor start to the race due to his replacement steering wheel not being set with the correct torque map.

Ferrari has opted to hand Sainz a fresh power unit for the Imola race weekend as a precaution due to the impact of his off in Australia and the tight two-and-a-half-hour turnaround between practice and qualifying on Friday in the sprint race weekend format.

“Carlos’ engine has been changed as a precaution following the impact in Australia as we do not want to take any risks with the Sprint weekend format,” Ferrari announced ahead of first practice at Imola.

Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari in paddock

Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari in paddock

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Ahead of opening practice at Imola on Friday, Alpine also confirmed it would be switching Esteban Ocon to a new power unit for this weekend.

“As a precaution, the team will fit a new power unit for Esteban at this weekend’s grand prix,” the team said. “This will be his second of three allocated power units for the season, therefore not incurring a penalty.”

Earlier this weekend, Sainz reflected on his Australian GP and put his off down to a mistake that followed “frustration” due to the various issues he faced, having also missed out on the pole position fight due to losing his first Q3 lap after Fernando Alonso’s crash and then losing time in the rest of the session because of a starter issue.

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“One of my strengths as a driver is to stay calm in these sort of situations,” Sainz said. “This time, I lacked this calmness to react properly to the inconvenience that arrived to me at the time.

“And it wasn't a great weekend because a lot of things happened, a lot of external factors happened, but at the same time I didn't have the best reaction to this.

“To suddenly feel like you were in the fight for pole and I was driving well the whole weekend, I was leading some free practices and feeling like I was driving the car really well, [it was difficult to react well].

“Suddenly, the external problems started happening and maybe kicked a bit of frustration.”

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