Scuderia Ferrari Spanish driver Carlos Sainz didn’t hide his disappointment in learning about the modifications to the Saturday program in Qatar through the media and not from the FIA, following the alarm raised by Pirelli overnight regarding safety concerns. Analyses conducted by the Italian company revealed that very long stints with a single set of tires, particularly the soft compounds, could cause serious damage to the tire’s circumference, prompting the federation to take action.
“If it’s necessary for safety, then we have to do it,” Carlos Sainz commented on the changes made on the fly by the federation to address the safety issue related to the tires that emerged during qualifying.
“Obviously, I don’t appreciate and don’t like the fact that we came here in 2021, and in the meantime, there have been two years to react to these inadequate curbs. There has been resurfacing, reconstruction of the curbs, and for some reason, the FIA has insisted on this curb design that is killing the tires.”
As we know, the curbs were entirely revamped on the eve of the weekend, and they would be the cause of the problems encountered in Pirelli’s analysis, as the high-frequency interference caused by passing over the curbs at high speed would create delamination issues in very long stints with the same set of tires.
In an attempt to address the issue, the FIA has revised the track limits in turns 12 and 13, moving the white line 80 cm inside. Additionally, precautionary measures have also been implemented, requiring at least 3 pit stops during the race and not running a single stint for more than 20 laps, in case Pirelli confirms the problems after the sprint race.
“I’m not blaming Pirelli,” adds the Spaniard. “But at the same time, it’s clear that something is wrong. We arrived here this morning, and we learned the news from the press. No one informed us that there would be changes to the track limits. No one told us that the tires were delaminating or anything like that.”
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“We have to learn things from the press, which is clearly not how things should be done. As the GPDA, we were not happy with the situation. We hope that cooperation starts to improve because reading things in the press when safety is at stake and our input should be considered is not enough.”
The Spaniard, after finishing sixth in the sprint race, also spoke about the possible race strategy: “I have another new set of soft tires. Maybe I’ll use it for a lap, have the start of my life, and then go to the pit!”
“But at the same time, tomorrow I’ll be on the dirty side of the grid, which today looked quite poor. Besides that, we have a new medium, a new hard, and two used mediums that seem to be in decent condition. So we have plenty of tires for every stop. Although I firmly believe that we should not risk tire delamination because the corners here are very fast. I wouldn’t want to see punctures or anything like that on such a fast track tomorrow,” Carlos Sainz concluded.