The victor of the Singapore race, who will commence the competition at Suzuka from the sixth position, will be placed two spots behind his team partner, Charles Leclerc. Anticipating the possibility of lowered competitiveness of his vehicle on the Suzuka track, Carlos Sainz, decided to mix things up with his set-up in an attempt to “challenge” himself and his car.
However, upon the realization that the new strategy was not yielding the desired results, Sainz decided to revert to a more traditional approach. Despite this, Sainz confessed that he felt “distracted” by the constant adjustment and did not have sufficient time to fully adapt to the changes.
The Spanish driver commented on the predicted difficulties of driving on the Suzuka track. “We knew before coming here that this track would expose us a bit more,” he stated. “Considering the high-speed characteristics, long corners, high winds like we’re having today, it was never going to be an easy race.”
Sainz further expressed how the experimental set-up and its subsequent adjustments may have compromised his qualifying preparations and overall performance during the weekend. He said, “By the time of qualification, I realized it was not quite working. As a result, we had to switch back to a basic set-up, which probably affected my qualifying preparation and overall weekend performance negatively.”
However, Sainz maintained being content with trying new things and is now shifting his focus towards the upcoming race. He confessed, “the McLarens and the Red Bulls this weekend, they seem a stride faster.”
Regarding his daring experimentation, Sainz admitted, “In some weekends, where you suspect the car to perform suboptimally, it’s necessary to challenge yourself and the car, and try pushing it beyond its comfort zone.”
Although the strategy proved ineffectual, Sainz doesn’t believe it exacerbated his situation too much. He revealed, “It did not help, but I don’t think it overcomplicated my situation either. Charles has been very fast this weekend and the unpredictable car balance along with tricky wind currents are adding to the challenge.”
Sainz implied that his experiment with different set-ups for the Suzuka race had provided important insights for future races. “Charles must have completed a very impressive lap,” he remarked. “I was unable to achieve a clean first sector in my last lap, which probably amplified the difference between us.”
Sainz further confessed, “Trying multiple set-up options and not really settling into a rhythm didn’t assist me. Yet, it’s a strategy I chose to gain insights for future tracks.”