Tyre blisters made Sainz's Renault F1 car 'undriveable' in Austria

Carlos Sainz Jr says his Renault was "undriveable" for most of Formula 1's Austrian Grand Prix after encountering blistering issues

Tyre blisters made Sainz's Renault F1 car 'undriveable' in Austria

Renault's RS18 has shown a tendency to be hard on its tyres this season and, although other drivers also had to contend with blisters during Sunday's race, Sainz suffered more than anyone else.

A virtual safety car allowed him to offload his ultrasofts after 15 laps, but after just 19 laps on softs he made a second, unscheduled stop to take on supersofts, which he ran until the finish.

"Unfortunately our blisters arrived on lap five of each compound, except for the supersoft," Sainz, who finished 12th, told Autosport.

"We were looking like one of the faster midfield cars there, behind the Haas and Force Indias. We put the soft on, [but after] five laps, lost performance.

"It's something we need to analyse, because the car was undriveable for 55 out of 70 laps of the race.

"It was vibrating everywhere, I couldn't see the braking points, couldn't even turn the wheel. It's something to understand and analyse."

Sainz insisted he had done his best to protect the tyres with his driving style.

"I was managing my tyres more than on Friday, and still it didn't make a difference, so it has to be something fundamental with the track temperature and our car," he said.

"If we had the balance we had all weekend we should have ended up in front of the Force India, and behind the Haas.

"But we didn't have the grip, didn't have the visibility to even push.

"I think we have a chance to sort it out for Silverstone. It's still something that we've seen on our car this year, it is very hard on tyres.

"Our main limitation, our main deficit to the others, stood out more than the others."

Managing director Cyril Abiteboul said Renault needed to address the issue before the British GP.

"That came as a huge surprise, there was nothing that we could see like that on Friday," he told Autosport.

"Obviously Friday was very different ambient and track temperature. I guess that's most of the problem.

"But we also know since the season started that we have a car which is unfortunately a bit hard on tyres. We saw that again today [Sunday].

"I guess that has to be the first preoccupation, because that can happen again in high-energy tracks with long corners and fast corners, so we are immediately thinking of Silverstone coming up.

"That will be the first emergency of the weekend."

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About this article

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