Carlos Sainz criticises marshals after explosive Ferrari engine failure

Carlos Sainz suffered a dramatic power unit failure which saw his car burst into flames.

Carlos Sainz was looking set to claim P2 at the Austrian Grand Prix, after closing Max Verstappen down in rapid fashion.

The Red Bull Racing driver struggled with tyre wear and traction throughout the race, which saw Charles Leclerc pass the Dutchman with ease three times on his way to victory.

It appeared a Ferrari 1-2 was on the cards, as Sainz too began to close on Verstappen at blistering pace.

However, once on the back of the 2021 World Champion, the Spaniard suffered yet another power unit (PU) failure.

This time it was in concerning fashion, as his F1-75 burst into flames on the run down to Turn 4.

READ: George Russell reveals why Lewis Hamilton was quicker at 2022 Austrian GP

At first the flames were small; however, once Sainz stopped his car, the flames became rapidly larger.

An explosion from the PU could be seen blowing a hole in the right side-pod, something which Sky Sports F1 commentator Martin Brundle said he’d “never seen before”.

Sainz threw his arms in the air and insisted on urgent help from the marshals, with his car beginning to roll backwards.

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However, the marshals slow response saw Sainz attempt to take matters into his own hands, whilst beginning to be engulfed by flames.

The Spanish driver jumped out and tried to stop his car from rolling by hand, all whilst the flames grew even larger.

Eventually, the marshals came over to not only put the fire out, but also to stop the car.

After the race, Sainz insisted that the marshals slow response “definitely” needed to be looked at.

“It was not an ideal or an easy situation for sure, because I could see in my mirrors that my car was catching fire,” said Sainz.

“I was pressing the brake, but as soon as I tried to jump out, I didn’t want to leave the car completely free, out of control, and rolling backwards.

“I was calling the marshals to come and help me, to put something on the tyres to stop the car from rolling. But the whole process was a bit slow and at some point there was so much fire that I had to get a move on and I had to jump out.

“It is definitely something we need to look at how we could have done it a bit faster, because it was not an easy situation to be in.”

It was mixed emotions for Ferrari, who were both disappointed with yet another PU failure; however, were also full of jubilation for Leclerc’s first victory since the Australian Grand Prix.

The result saw Leclerc move up to 2nd in the Drivers’ Championship, with eleven rounds remaining.

Leclerc after the race admitted that he had begun feeling like “everything” was against him, but was extremely pleased to “finally show” the F1-75’s true pace.

“I definitely needed that one,” Leclerc said whilst smiling.

“The last five races have been incredibly difficult for myself but also for the team.

“It has been hard race after hard race, and it just felt like everything was against me. So to finally show we have the pace in the car and that we can do it, is incredible.”