Carlos Sainz sends massive Qatar GP warning: ‘I’m hoping it doesn’t repeat’

Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz is optimistic about the sprint weekend format in Qatar despite the challenges posed.

Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz has voiced his concerns about the Qatar Grand Prix’s early-season placement, citing the intense heat as a significant challenge. 

The Losail International Circuit hosts the race in early October, contrasting with its debut in 2021 when it took place in late November. 

The forecast for the weekend suggests ambient temperatures soaring into the mid-to-high 30s.

Sainz expressed his reservations, stating, “I think it’s a bit of an extreme case, and I’m hoping it doesn’t repeat itself in the future. 

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Obviously, the organisers are finding the best possible dates, but the drivers are suffering the heat, and it’s not going to be a comfortable race at all.”

However, the seasoned driver remains undaunted, drawing parallels to the scorching conditions experienced in Singapore. 

“I’m not worried because I know Singapore feels very, very hot. 

“I did well in Singapore, so I’m ready for it,” Sainz asserted confidently.

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Despite the challenging climate, Sainz is optimistic that the weekend format overhaul in Qatar could work in Ferrari’s favour. 

The event will follow the F1 Sprint format, featuring just one practice session preceding the competitive sessions.

Ferrari is acutely aware that the track might not suit their car’s characteristics, especially after their recent struggles in Japan, following their triumphant win in Singapore. 

High tire degradation and the unpredictable behavior of the car through corners have plagued the Italian squad throughout the season.

Addressing the issue, Sainz mentioned, “I think you can see with our car, it’s a bit like that, how we can go in Singapore from winning the race to in Japan being 40 or 50 seconds off the race leader. It’s how it goes this year for us.”

While acknowledging the challenges, Sainz remained resolute in his goals for the race weekend. 

“I don’t care, if the car is there to P7 on Sunday, I want to be P7. 

“If the car is there to be P3, I want to be P3.”

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He also highlighted Ferrari’s historical strength on sprint weekends, hoping it could compensate for the track’s characteristics. 

Going into Qatar, Sainz sits in P5 of the Drivers’ Standings on 150 points, with his teammate Charles Leclerc in P6 on 135 points.

Ferrari finds itself in a battle with Mercedes for a P2 finish in the Constructors’ Standings, with the Italian team on 285, while the Silver Arrows are on 305.