Carlos Sainz says he will use the F1 Turkish Grand Prix as a “test weekend” after Ferrari confirmed it will have to start the race from behind due to an engine change.
Ferrari introduced the latest specification of the power unit during the Russian Grand Prix. Improvements were mainly made to the hybrid system of the power unit. Instead of providing both drivers with a new engine, it was decided to provide only Charles Leclerc with the improvements. That was at the expense of a start at the back of the grid for him. Teammate Carlos Sainz had to wait a little longer for the improved power source, but earlier this week Ferrari already confirmed that the switch will take place in Turkey. The Spaniard also has to start at the back because of this.
Still, Sainz has no problem with having to start the race at Istanbul Park from the rear. “It sounds strange, but I’m actually looking forward to it,” he replied to a question from Motorsport.com. The Spaniard argues that this will allow the focus to go straight to the race, which may benefit Ferrari in the longer term. “It actually makes for a very different weekend because you probably won’t be taking part in qualifying. So suddenly my approach changes to the race, which is the weak spot for both myself and the car at the moment in terms of race management and tire management.”
“So I will have the opportunity to use the different tire compounds in VT1, VT2 and VT3, so that I can hopefully improve my tire management and my understanding of the car in racing conditions. That way I want to try to take a step. If I discover something this weekend, that step may help me through the end of the year. So I’m going to use this as a test weekend. Moreover, you have nothing to lose at the start, because you are already last. I also have a decent track record of coming out from behind on my top-five and podium finishes. So I actually always enjoy it, because you have nothing to lose.”
As well as giving him more strategic options on Sunday due to more soft tires, Sainz said the new Ferrari powerplant will be an extra boost in his efforts to make up ground from the last row. “I’m also looking forward to the new engine, not just starting last. It is a new power unit and I welcome all the developments and the effort that has gone into trying it already in the last races of this year. In Sochi it looked promising with Charles, so I’m looking forward to it,” said the number two of the Russian GP. “You have seen that we are still lacking in power, a considerable gap that we are trying to make up. Hopefully this bike will help me get through the field a little easier than with the old one.”