Renault considering pitlane start to fix Sainz's Spa balance issues

Carlos Sainz Jr says Renault may make major set-up changes overnight to fix the handling problems that blighted his Spa qualifying, which would mean a pitlane start for the race

Renault considering pitlane start to fix Sainz's Spa balance issues

Sainz qualified 16th after struggling with poor balance in Q1, although if he lines up on the grid he will gain two spots as both his team mate Nico Hulkenberg and Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas have penalties.

In the immediate aftermath of the session, Sainz explained that Renault could not get to the bottom of the problems he had encountered.

"We don't know [what happened] yet," he said.

"We clearly see that the car has nothing to do with the car that I've been driving until pretty much the end of FP3, when we thought we were more or less the 10th fastest or 11th fastest car on track.

"We were optimistic heading into qualifying. [But] as soon as I did the first six or seven corners I felt the car was nowhere near to the balance I had all weekend - a lot of oversteer, no stability, a lot of snaps per lap, very scrappy, difficult to put any decent kind of lap together.

"I kind of expected it to get better on the second run but it actually got even worse. So we're still analysing it."

When asked by Autosport if the team was considering a pitlane start after making wholesale set-up changes he said: "Maybe, it's being discussed. It's under investigation".

Sainz was particularly disappointed because the new floor introduced by Renault on Friday had worked well.

"It felt like a positive step yesterday, the balance I had today doesn't allow me to say the same, but yesterday when I changed floors and ran it in FP2 if you look into my short run and long run pace it did look really promising.

"So that's why today is particularly frustrating, because with the pace we had yesterday and the pace we had this morning with the soft - I didn't really get to put the supersoft [on] and still I was close to the supersoft runners.

"So maybe it's a tyre thing, maybe it's that we didn't adapt correctly to the supersoft, or maybe it's a car thing.

"It's very difficult to say or to tell [if something might have broken] with so little time after qualifying.

"The only thing I know is the car had nothing to do with the rest of the weekend, and like this it's very difficult when you start a push lap in Q1 to put any kind of good lap together."

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Carlos Sainz Jr.
Teams Renault F1 Team
Author Adam Cooper
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