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
Load comments
Why thrilling Jeddah F1 circuit needs to be safer Plus

Why thrilling Jeddah F1 circuit needs to be safer

OPINION: Saudi Arabia's new F1 circuit delivered a memorable first event, although not necessarily for all the right reasons. In the wake of the chaotic race, drivers voiced their concerns about the track but small changes could make significant improvements ahead of a return in four months

The long-term F1 vision causing Haas’s short-term pain Plus

The long-term F1 vision causing Haas’s short-term pain

From ranking as one of the most impressive new teams to join the Formula 1 grid, Haas’s stock has plummeted along with its on-track performances over the past two seasons. Everything now hangs on whether its reforged alliance with Ferrari can deliver a better car – and whether its rookie drivers can set aside their quarrels. OLEG KARPOV asks if any of these goals are achievable…

The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race Plus

The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race

OPINION: Max Verstappen has made the 2021 Formula 1 championship. He’s taken the fight to the all-conquering Mercedes squad and its dominant champion, produced driving displays few can match. But he’s been on a controversial course too, and finally crossed a particular line in Jeddah

Formula 1
Dec 7, 2021
Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An ill-tempered Saudi Grand Prix made Formula 1 more soap opera than sporting spectacle at times, but there were some strong performances up and down the field on the world championship's first visit to Jeddah

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series Plus

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series

The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a race packed full of incident as Formula 1 2021's title contenders repeatedly clashed on track. Lewis Hamilton won out over Max Verstappen to level the scores heading into next weekend's Abu Dhabi finale, as Jeddah turned F1 into a drama series

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance Plus

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance

Dropped by Red Bull last season, Alexander Albon has fought back into a Formula 1 seat with Williams. ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains what Albon has done to earn the place soon to be vacated by the highly rated George Russell

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2021
How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes Plus

How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1
Dec 3, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Plus

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021