‘I am not happy’ – Sainz furious after engine problem wrecks his Belgian GP for second year in a row
It was game over before the Belgian Grand Prix even started for Carlos Sainz as the Spaniard retired on the pre-race reconnaissance lap with an engine problem – and the frustrated driver didn’t hold back after the race.
This is the second power unit reliability issue that Sainz has encountered in as many years at Spa-Francorchamps as his McLaren MCL34 stalled on the grid in 2019, forcing him out of the race. This time around he didn't even make it that far before his Renault engine developed a problem.
"It was very hard not being able to take the start of the Belgian GP, because today we had a very good opportunity to score a good result from the seventh place of the grid," he said.
"I smelt something strange in the car during my second lap to the grid and I saw smoke coming out of the exhaust on my rear-view mirrors. The exhaust was broken, but the issue started in the engine."
“I am not happy, because I have missed one of my favourite races for the second year in a row because of a technical issue. It is not the first one we experienced this season, but there is nothing we can do in that situation. We will dig into the issue to try and prevent it from happening again next week, but we haven’t had the season we deserved so far."
This issue is the latest in a line of bad luck that Sainz has encountered this season, with pitstop problems at Styria, Hungary and at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, and a late tyre failure at the British Grand Prix leaving him 11th in the championship. Team mate Lando Norris, on the other hand, has scored a maiden podium and sits sixth in the drivers' standings.
The Ferrari-bound driver was forced to watch from the garage as Norris finished seventh in Belgium – while Ferrari themselves had Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel finish 13th and 14th on a disappointing weekend.