Sainz confused by '18 Renault F1 car's qualifying instability issue

Carlos Sainz Jr says he spent the 2018 Formula 1 season "confused" by an instability issue with his Renault that dogged his performances in qualifying

Sainz confused by '18 Renault F1 car's qualifying instability issue

The Spaniard, who will switch to McLaren next season after Renault swooped for Daniel Ricciardo, said he never fully got on top of why he struggled to extract the best single-lap pace.

"When it comes to finding the limits of the Renault, that was where I tend to struggle a bit," said Sainz, when asked by Autosport to evaluate his performances this year.

"I apply just a bit more brake pressure, and I pick up a bit of instability.

"It's just this thing I've been trying to level out the whole year - trying to pick up the stability when you really try to push the limit, that this car doesn't give me.

"I'm a bit confused by that. The whole year I've been playing a bit cat and mouse with the balance of the car."

Sainz said that he had been able to cure the issue during the campaign, but that then had a detrimental effect on his overall speed.

"It has confused me a lot during the year," he added.

"I've been playing a lot with set-ups to take it away, but sometimes I was having to do too many compromises to find the right stability.

"In general, I haven't really managed to take it away 100%, I've never been comfortable in qualifying to extract the last two tenths.

"It is true in some qualifying sessions I managed to do a good job, and I've been very consistent; always in Q3, always very close to the limit, but never able to find that one tenth I could extract out of the Toro Rosso or other cars."

Sainz ended 2018 10th in the standings, but said his qualifying issue, plus some reliability troubles, left him feeling as though the campaign had not gone as well as he had hoped.

"There have been ups and downs during the season, especially during qualifying," he said.

"I think during the races I've always been strong, always been there to score points.

"So I'm in two minds about this season. For how comfortable I was with this car, for how not so happy I was, I think I've been able to extract everything from it.

"The weekends where we could have got a lot of points, like in Paul Ricard and Mexico, we did have a big reliability failure which didn't allow us to be a bit higher up in the championship and score some more points for the team. So I'm in two minds.

"I know that with what I've done on a personal level, it's quite good, but I'm disappointed to have not found that mojo with the car I used to have in the Toro Rosso or in World Series, to be an exceptional qualifier."

shares
comments
More than half of Winnow your Words: Kimi’s book of Haiku copies sold

Previous article

More than half of Winnow your Words: Kimi’s book of Haiku copies sold

Next article

Sauber 2019 driver Antonio Giovinazzi doubts '17 F1 races will help

Sauber 2019 driver Antonio Giovinazzi doubts '17 F1 races will help
Load comments
How F1's biggest crisis helped trigger its exciting 2021 season Plus

How F1's biggest crisis helped trigger its exciting 2021 season

Formula 1's return to Austria this weekend comes under exceedingly different circumstances to its last Spielberg visit, when F1 took its first tentative steps out of the global COVID shutdown. But the tightrope F1 walked in 2020 has ultimately led to the most exciting season of the hybrid era

Can Red Bull really win anywhere now it’s toppled a Mercedes F1 stronghold? Plus

Can Red Bull really win anywhere now it’s toppled a Mercedes F1 stronghold?

OPINION: Red Bull team boss Christian Horner reckoned Max Verstappen winning the French Grand Prix – an event where Mercedes had previously been dominant – would signal “we can beat them anywhere”. Here’s how that claim stacks up looking at the rest of the 2021 season

Formula 1
Jun 23, 2021
The IndyCar feature that Paul Ricard desperately needs in F1 Plus

The IndyCar feature that Paul Ricard desperately needs in F1

OPINION: The French Grand Prix offered a surprisingly interesting spectacle, despite the headache-inducing nature of the circuit. But IndyCar's Road America race offered far more in terms of action - and the increased jeopardy at the Elkhart Lake venue might be something Paul Ricard needs in future...

Formula 1
Jun 22, 2021
French Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

French Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The French GP was a weekend decided by tiny margins both at the front of the field, as Red Bull inflicted a comeback defeat on Mercedes, and in the battle for the minor points places. That's reflected in our driver ratings, where several drivers came close to a maximum score

Formula 1
Jun 21, 2021
How Red Bull took French GP "payback" on a day of Mercedes mistakes Plus

How Red Bull took French GP "payback" on a day of Mercedes mistakes

The French GP has been a stronghold for Mercedes since Paul Ricard's return to the calendar in 2018. But that all changed on Sunday, as a clever two-stop strategy guided Red Bull's Max Verstappen to make a race-winning pass on the penultimate lap - for once leaving Mercedes to experience the pain of late defeat it has so often inflicted on Red Bull

Formula 1
Jun 21, 2021
The new age of sponsorship facilitated by F1’s relevancy push Plus

The new age of sponsorship facilitated by F1’s relevancy push

The age of the high-profile title sponsor is over, says JONATHAN NOBLE, but Formula 1’s commitment to technological innovation is attracting high-tech partners

Formula 1
Jun 20, 2021
How Britain’s lost Ferrari star epitomised a bygone F1 era Plus

How Britain’s lost Ferrari star epitomised a bygone F1 era

The 1956 Italian Grand Prix was over for Juan Manuel Fangio, along with his hopes of winning the world championship – until his Ferrari team-mate (and title rival) voluntarily surrendered his own car so Fangio could continue. NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls Peter Collins, a remarkable sportsman

Formula 1
Jun 19, 2021
The 'surprise' Mercedes time that puts F1's victory fight back on a knife-edge in France Plus

The 'surprise' Mercedes time that puts F1's victory fight back on a knife-edge in France

Red Bull led the way after the first two practice sessions for the 2021 French Grand Prix, but only just ahead of Mercedes. There was all the usual practice skulduggery complicating the performance picture, but one aspect seen at the world champion squad gave it a ‘surprise’ lift, as it looks to leave its street-circuit struggles firmly in the past

Formula 1
Jun 18, 2021