The Qatar GP that never started for Carlos Sainz
It was reasonable to expect that it would be a difficult Grand Prix for Carlos Sainz, and perhaps the Spaniard had even considered it. However, it was difficult to imagine that the Qatar race wouldn’t even start. Yet the winner of Singapore couldn’t even get into his SF-23, which in the meantime was losing a lot of fuel in the pits, and he had to retire even before starting the engines.
The mechanics tried everything they could to provide the Spaniard with a car capable of taking to the track, but at 6:05 PM Smooth Operator had to take off his suit and helmet because the damage was too great.
Carlos Sainz’s comments
“The damage I had may be due to the curbs, but until we conduct an investigation, we won’t know what caused this damage and how it happened, so it’s too early to say at the moment, and we can only make assumptions,” said the Spaniard to Sky Sport F1. “Motorsport is sometimes like this, and now we need to focus on the next race. It was practically impossible to repair the damage before the race; the fuel loss was too great.”
The precedent of Spa 2020
This isn’t the first time that Carlos Sainz has qualified but failed to start the race. It already happened at the 2020 Belgian Grand Prix: the then McLaren driver managed to leave the pits for the formation lap but immediately encountered problems with the Renault power unit and returned to the pits without lining up on the starting grid. Today’s race was the third in 2023 in which the Spaniard didn’t score any points, after Melbourne and Spa.
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