Sainz: Maybe I can try and race!
For a couple of tense hours the Formula 1 world waited on news regarding the condition of Carlos Sainz after he crashed heavily during the final free practice session of the Russian Grand Prix at Sochi Autodrom on Saturday morning – it has now emerged that the young Spaniard is well and resting overnight in hospital.
The Toro Rosso rookie was airlifted to hospital, where he was examined and he said in the evening, “Hi everyone! As you can see I am fine. My back and my neck are just a bit sore from the accident, but I’m totally ready. Hopefully tomorrow I will wake up in a good shape and maybe I can try and race – this is definitely the intention!”
“Obviously we need to be cautious… I’ve always been conscious. As soon as the accident happened I tried to talk to the team on the radio, but it wasn’t working and those must have been some scary moments… I’d like to thank everyone for their support, it’s really nice to receive all your messages at a moment like this one! I hope to see you all tomorrow out there!”
His teenage teammate Max Verstappen, who reported from his cockpit during FP3 that it looked like a big crash, said when the news of Sainz’s condition was confirmed to be fine, “I’d like to say that I’m really happy to hear that Carlos is okay after his crash, that’s the most important news of the day. Hopefully he’s here tomorrow.”
Toro Rosso chief race engineer Phil Charles, said at the end of the day, “Our first considerations are obviously for Carlos. It was quite a big crash for him but it’s good to know that he feels well. We will now need to wait until tomorrow morning to hear if his final FIA medical checks are okay.”
“On the engineering side we are still finalising the details of our crash investigation. However so far there are no significant findings to talk about. From a personal point of view I am quite impressed to see that the car has survived such a shunt in quite a healthy way: the nose crush zone has worked very efficiently and the four wheels were still retained by the tethers. The monocoque looks to be in good shape as well,” added Charles.
Team boss Franz Tost reported, “I’m very happy that Carlos is ok and out of hospital, this is the most important thing for us!”
“I hope he will have a good night’s sleep and tomorrow morning he will have to go through the FIA medical checks to decide if he will be able to take part in tomorrow’s race.”
“Now, just to clarify what happened, prior to the accident, Carlos had completed a long-run on the Option tyre, before changing to the Prime to do two further laps. On Primes the grip level is lower.”
“In addition he had changed the brake shape on the steering wheel, which meant he had more braking rearwards. A combination of these two factors might have been the cause of the rears locking, which made the car uncontrollable,” explained Tost.