The Spanish Ferrari driver was forced to retire even before the start of the race in Losail. In the post-race interview after the 2023 Formula 1 Qatar Grand Prix, Team Principal Fred Vasseur identified the likely cause of the issue that occurred with Carlos Sainz’s car.
The head of the Prancing Horse spoke at the end of the Qatar Grand Prix, also revealing the probable cause of the issue with the number 55 Ferrari.
“Due to a problem with the fuel system, Carlos Sainz will not take part in the Qatar Grand Prix,” read a somber tweet from Scuderia Ferrari in the minutes before the reconnaissance laps. The fault discovered by the mechanics of the Maranello team couldn’t be fixed in the short time available. Consequently, Ferrari was forced to keep Carlos Sainz‘s car in the pit.
But what was the cause of the problem with the Madrid driver’s Ferrari? Even before the race, some had speculated that the issue might be related to the heavy impacts with the curbs. Mario Isola had also revealed how the cars arrived exhausted, if not damaged, at the end of Saturday’s Sprint.
To confirm, in part, this hypothesis is Frédéric Vasseur himself. The French manager told Sky’s microphones: “The problem arose when we refueled the car,” he explained – “We can say that we could have refueled earlier, but it doesn’t work that way. Certainly, there wasn’t enough time to change the tank.” – the French manager pointed out.
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He then clarifies the connection between the problem and the curbs: “Honestly, I don’t know. We need to investigate; we haven’t had time to analyze the tank yet, but probably yes. The loss seems very significant,” he continues. “It means that there is damage, and it probably stems from the last laps yesterday,” he says, referring to Saturday’s Sprint Race.