Sainz: Ferrari's "strange plan" was to knock out an F1 rival in Turkey Q1

Carlos Sainz Jr says Ferrari's "strange plan" in qualifying for the Turkish Grand Prix was to stop a Formula 1 rival from making Q2 - leaving Daniel Ricciardo unable to progress.

Sainz: Ferrari's "strange plan" was to knock out an F1 rival in Turkey Q1

Sainz came into the Istanbul weekend knowing that he would start from the back of the grid having taken his fourth power unit of the season.

Often in such circumstances drivers make only a token effort in Q1, but Ferrari actively decided to use Sainz to prevent another car from making the top 15, thus stopping it progressing through to the next session.

The plan could not have worked out any better as by coincidence the car on the bubble at the end of Q1 was that of Ricciardo, whose McLaren team is fighting with Ferrari for third place in the constructors’ championship.

Having made it to Q2 Sainz was then used to help team mate Charles Leclerc to get through to Q3 by giving him a tow.

“Basically I was driving around trying not to set a competitive lap time, just to make sure the other car was making it to Q2,” Sainz said when asked about his qualifying strategy by Autosport.

“And then once Charles was safe I tried to push one lap to try and bump out a car from Q2, and coincidentally that car was Daniel, our direct competitor in the championship.

"So the plan was executed perfectly, also with with a tow to Charles in Q2.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21, Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari SF21

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21, Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari SF21

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

“It was exactly the plan that we had today. Actually it was a bit of a strange plan, but it worked perfectly for the team, and for me.

“We did what we had to do today, obviously still regretting a bit the fact that I'm not part of a normal day when the car is the most competitive it's been in the last 10 races. It is what it is. We will try and make it through tomorrow.”

Sainz sees starting from the back of the grid as a challenge, although he doesn’t know how easy it will be to overtake at the Istanbul Park circuit as the team's simulations only have last year's wet race to fall back on.

“I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “I would much rather not have to do it and start in P3 like Charles is starting, because obviously starting directly in podium positions is much better than last.

"Also there's not many other cars taking penalties, so I couldn't benefit from that.

“It will all depend how easy it is to overtake tomorrow. If it is fairly easy I will give it my best shot. Then if it's difficult to follow in Turn 8, in Turn 9, then it might be a frustrating afternoon.

“Our simulations don't predict how easy it is to overtake. So it's all by feeling with the car, and how much dirty air the car receives from the car in front. On pure pace we're obviously good enough for a top five, and starting last that's a lot of positions to recover."

shares
comments

Related video

Mercedes "in a better place" to fight Red Bull than before F1 summer break
Previous article

Mercedes "in a better place" to fight Red Bull than before F1 summer break

Next article

F1 teams facing "game theory" strategy battle in Turkish GP

F1 teams facing "game theory" strategy battle in Turkish GP
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Plus

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Plus

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats Plus

How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats

The 2022 Formula 1 season will be remembered as a record book rewriting Max Verstappen masterclass, a completely different challenge to his maiden world championship last year, and a clear sign he is still raising his own level. But where does it stack up against the all-time great F1 campaigns?

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2022 Formula 1 season came to a close at the Yas Marina Circuit, where the battle for second in the standings was decided, the wins in a season record extended and a retiring four-time world champion bowed out on a high. Here's how we rated the drivers

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022
The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc in Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph Plus

The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc in Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph

Max Verstappen ended the 2022 Formula 1 season in fitting fashion with a dominant drive to victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. But behind him, early season rival Charles Leclerc achieved his target of securing the runner-up spot with a well-executed a one-stop strategy to beat Sergio Perez, whose pursuit on a two-stop strategy was hampered by several critical factors

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022
Why the impact of FIA’s anti-bouncing metric is hard to judge Plus

Why the impact of FIA’s anti-bouncing metric is hard to judge

Faced with drivers complaining about the long-term health effects of car ‘bouncing’, the FIA stepped in to deal with it. JAKE BOXALL-LEGGE explains how the so-called ‘Aerodynamic Oscillation Metric’ works, and asks if it is fit for purpose?

Formula 1
Nov 20, 2022
Where Vettel stands in the list of the greatest F1 drivers Plus

Where Vettel stands in the list of the greatest F1 drivers

As Sebastian Vettel’s Formula 1 career has come to a close, figuring out where he fits into the greatest of all time order is a tough and subjective call. With the aid of statistics, attributes and history, here’s how the four-time world champion stacks up in the debate

Formula 1
Nov 19, 2022