Carlos Sainz had a race to forget at Zandvoort, the Ferrari driver finishing fifth but dropping to eighth after a five-second penalty for an unsafe release, which followed a glacial and chaotic pit stop.
The Spaniard couldn’t keep up with the leaders early in the race and pitted for a new set of mediums in a stop that lasted 12.7 seconds, as the rear-left tyre was not present when he entered the box. To add insult to injury, Sergio Perez – who made up time on Sainz in the pits – drove over a Ferrari wheel gun while exiting his box.
The #55 driver also appeared to pass Esteban Ocon under a yellow flag flown for Valtteri Bottas’s stricken car, Sainz finally given a five-second penalty for an unsafe release in front of Fernando Alonso having pitted for tyres under the resulting Safety Car.
“Yes, it was a mess, the whole race in trouble, first with the confusing pit stop that we had and the yellow flag in which I saved myself by very small margins, and then the unsafe release,” said Sainz.
‘It was a mess, the whole race’ – Sainz reflects on a tough day after a disastrous pit stop at Zandvoort
Sainz however disputed that time penalty that dropped him to P8.
“That wasn’t an unsafe release, I was launched into the pit lane correctly but the problem is that I had to brake to not take a McLaren guy out of his life. Because I took avoiding action, they give you a penalty – I find this very frustrating and I’m going to speak with the FIA now because I don’t understand it,” said Sainz.
Asked where Ferrari need to improve, Sainz pointed out their performance on Sundays.
“It’s race pace, no, where we’re missing? I’m not happy with how the car felt in the race, it was super tricky to drive, we were always fighting the rear a lot – a lot of overheating – and we need to find out why the car isn’t as strong in the race as it is in quali.”
Ferrari head to Monza for their second home race of the season, the 2022 Italian Grand Prix, on September 9-11.