Toro Rosso's Sainz surprised Malaysian GP start not delayed

Carlos Sainz Jr was "surprised" FIA Formula 1 director Charlie Whiting did not abort the start of the Malaysian Grand Prix when his Toro Rosso stalled on the grid

Toro Rosso's Sainz surprised Malaysian GP start not delayed

Felipe Massa's Williams was left stranded as cars left the Sepang grid for the formation lap, but cleared by the time the F1 field returned and Sainz's Ferrari engine switched off.

Malaysian Grand Prix driver ratings

Quick thinking from Sainz and his engineer ensured the car was restarted through the MGU-K, and the Spaniard even moved from 15th to 11th on the first lap.

But amid a hold before the first of the five red lights came on, with yellow lights also flashing, Sainz did not expect the race to start as normal.

"They were waiting for me, probably," Sainz said, when asked about the start by Autosport.

"I guess that was because they didn't know whether or not to put a yellow [flag] to do another [formation] lap.

"But I don't understand how, when the lights started to turn on, they did a start with a car completely stopped.

"I was definitely surprised the race started."

Sainz was also at a loss to explain why the engine switched off, while warming the clutch.

"Normally when you are doing a clutch warming, and you do it a bit aggressively, you catch some anti-stall," he said.

"This time it didn't happen, so it was a very surprising event, but we managed to switch the engine back on with the one thing we have on the steering wheel to do that.

"I was aware of it because we tried it earlier in the season, but when the engine switches off the only thing you think of is, 'shit, it's all over!'

"Suddenly my engineer reminded me on the radio quickly, but the first time we tried to switch it on it didn't work.

"The second time, thank God again it happened just when the five lights were on, and at that point, 'voom', I was off when the lights went off."

Despite his first-lap gains, Sainz had to settle for 11th after failing to close in on Jolyon Palmer in the final stint, on soft tyres that were six laps fresher.

Renault put Palmer on a one-stop strategy, compared to Sainz's two, which helped him take the final point after Lewis Hamilton's late retirement.

"[Renault's] strategy definitely paid off," said Sainz.

"They were also ahead in qualifying, so they were always going to have better pace than us [in the race], especially with Kevin [Magnussen].

"He qualified with a used set [of soft tyres], and he had three tenths on us.

"In the last stint I had fresher tyres, and I was pushing for 16 quali laps, but they were a tiny bit quicker, which we don't like. We didn't expect that."

shares
comments
Lewis Hamilton right to vent his anger - Mercedes F1 boss Wolff

Previous article

Lewis Hamilton right to vent his anger - Mercedes F1 boss Wolff

Next article

How the slower Red Bull won in Malaysia

How the slower Red Bull won in Malaysia
Load comments
Why unseen Hungary heroics could be the making of F1's most overlooked driver Plus

Why unseen Hungary heroics could be the making of F1's most overlooked driver

The chaotic start to the Hungarian GP set the scene for F1's less heralded drivers to make a name for themselves. Esteban Ocon did just that to win in fine style, but further down the order one driver was making his first visit to the points and - while the circumstances were fortunate - took full advantage of the chance presented to him

Hungarian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Hungarian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

This was race that showcased the best and worst of Formula 1, producing a first time winner and a memorable comeback to a podium finish. Avoiding trouble at the start and astute strategy calls were key to success, but where some drivers took full advantage, others made key errors that cost them dearly

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2021
The “heart-breaking” call that led to Ocon’s Hungarian GP triumph Plus

The “heart-breaking” call that led to Ocon’s Hungarian GP triumph

Set to restart the red-flagged Hungarian Grand Prix in second, Esteban Ocon had some doubts when he peeled into the pits to swap his intermediate tyres for slicks. But this "heart-breaking" call was vindicated in spectacular fashion as the Alpine driver staved off race-long pressure from Sebastian Vettel for a memorable maiden Formula 1 victory

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2021
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Plus

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track' Plus

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'

Mercedes ended Friday practice at the Hungaroring with a clear gap to Red Bull thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s pace in topping FP2. But there are other reasons why the Black Arrows squad feels satisfied with its progress so far at a track many Formula 1 observers reckon favours Red Bull overall

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks Plus

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks

OPINION: Red Bull was justified to be upset that Lewis Hamilton survived his British GP clash with Max Verstappen and went on to win. But its attempts to lobby the FIA to reconsider the severity of Hamilton's in-race penalty were always likely to backfire, and have only succeeded in creating a PR disaster that will distract from its on-track efforts

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Plus

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed

Formula 1
Jul 29, 2021
The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break Plus

The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break

OPINION: Formula 1 is about to break up for summer 2021, with the title battles finely poised. But it’s not just the latest round of Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton that will be worth watching this weekend in Hungary, as plenty of drivers are eying big results to change the stories of their seasons so far

Formula 1
Jul 28, 2021