Was forced to retire
Carlos Sainz was unable to finish the Austrian Grand Prix when his Ferrari was knocked out of action with 15 laps to go with an engine fire that was as impressive as it was dangerous.
He couldn’t get out of the car as the crash took place on a hill, nor could the steward arrive to put a block on the wheel, nor could the driver be seen in the midst of all the flames.
It certainly hasn’t been the year of reliability at Ferrari, and it’s been evenly spread across both cars.
Charles Leclerc was denied victory in Spain and Azerbaijan while leading in both races (Carlos Sainz, Kevin Magnussen and Guanyu Zhou all finished out of the race as well) and today it was Sainz who saw his chances of another podium finish and a strong World Championship finish crushed.
It is the fourth no-points finish for Sainz in 2022, snapping a run of five near-straight podiums in six races that had ended with his first F1 win last Sunday at Silverstone.
Sainz retired on the first lap in Australia due to a mistake and on the first lap in Imola when he was hit by Daniel Ricciardo. Since then he ‘reset’ his targets and his approach to weekends and tightened up qualifying with his team-mate.
The streak ends, but the work continues at Maranello HQ, which has a glaring reliability problem with its power unit, which has improved enormously since last year but is ruining many races.
With the victory for Leclerc, the second in a row for the team, the breakdown is somewhat masked, but this is another fire in the team, which must be fixed if they want to challenge for the drivers’ and constructors’ titles.