Carlos Sainz to start from P20 in Turkish GP on Sunday due to power unit change

Sainz was one of the stars of the Russian Grand Prix weekend, qualifying second and racing to third after taking the lead early on.

Carlos Sainz in a file photo. (Image: Twitter/Scuderia Ferrari)

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz will start the Turkish Grand Prix from the back of the grid, as his teammate Charles Leclerc did at the Russian Grand Prix two weeks ago, after switching to a new power unit featuring Ferrari’s new-spec hybrid system. The Spaniard said that he was looking forward to slicing through the field at Istanbul Park on Sunday. In Sochi, Ferrari debuted their new hybrid system on Leclerc’s car, with the goal of assisting in the development of their all-new power unit for 2022. However, after seeing how well the unit performed in Leclerc’s car, albeit that he finished P15 in Russia after losing out in the mixed conditions at the end of the race, while Sainz took home his third podium of the season, the Spaniard said he was eager to try the power unit out for himself.


“It actually doesn’t feel that bad,” said about the penalty. “If you’re going into the weekend with a new PU [power unit] that is hopefully bringing a bit of performance and a bit of development to the team, I cannot be disappointed with that. Obviously you pay the price of having to start last but I have a pretty good record of starting last and coming through the field in these last few years, so I’m kind of excited [for] it, because your focus is mainly on preparing the race, making sure that the car is well set up for the different compounds and the different conditions that we have in the race, with high fuel etcetera,” the Spaniard added.


Sainz was one of the stars of the Russian Grand Prix weekend, qualifying second and racing to third after taking the lead early on. And the Spaniard was pleased to show that he’d taken “a step” in the second half of his first season with Ferrari.

“This second half of the season, it was important to get a good result,” said Sainz. “The first three races [of the second half] were good, but they were nothing special, and I was expecting to do a bit of a step this second half. And this podium kind of confirms that step that has been done on car understanding and performance throughout the season as I get more used to this new environment. And it was a good weekend [in Sochi]. The quali, nailing a lap when it counted, nailing the start and leading the race and then nailing the strategy and the tyre management through the race to come home third, it was overall a well-executed weekend that for sure gives me good vibes going into the last third of the season,” he added.


Sainz will now have a busy Sunday afternoon carving his way through the field from the back of the Istanbul Park grid. However, the circuit exhibited very low grip levels when F1 last raced there in 2020. Sainz, at the time, raced from P15 on the grid to P5 with McLaren. “I think we are all expecting the grip to be better,” said Sainz. “How much better, that’s a different question. If it’s more like Portimao, where the grip is not high but it’s okay, then it should be good fun,” he added.

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