Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari was randomly chosen for an inspection in the aftermath of the 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix, and no rule breaches were found on the second-placed car.
Having qualified third on Saturday, the Spaniard spent much of the race running in that position until late on when a fire on Pierre Gasly’s AlphaTauri brought out the Safety Car.
Then, on the restart, and partly owing to a reliability issue for Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, he was able to pass the 24-year-old and end the race second behind Charles Leclerc, sealing the team’s first one-two finish since the 2019 Singapore Grand Prix.
The Scuderia have arguably done the most efficient job with their 2022 car under the all-new technical regulations, and the attestation of that comes in the form of a maximum points result in the opening race, as Leclerc also managed the fastest lap.
It has been confirmed by Jo Bauer, Formula 1 technical delegate, that Sainz’s car had been randomly taken in for a closer look.
“After the race of the Bahrain GP, car number 55 was randomly chosen among the top 10 cars for more extensive physical inspections,” read a report.
“Subject to these physical inspections were front and rear wheel bodywork, front and rear wheel covers, front and rear wheel rims and front and rear wheel fasteners.
“All inspected components were found to be in compliance with the 2022 Formula 1 Technical Regulations.”
While Sainz was pleased for the team to start the season so emphatically, he laments the fact that he was not quite on the pace of his team-mate.
“Ferrari is back, and it’s properly back with a 1-2 where the team should have been over the last few years but the hard work is paying off and we are there,” Sainz said after the race.
“For me, it’s been a very tricky weekend I’m not going to lie, I didn’t have the pace today but managed to hold on to the end and bring home the 1-2 for the team.
“I have some homework to do over these next few days and I’m sure I will come back stronger.”
Verstappen’s car problems would ultimately put him out of the race along wit Sergio Perez, and the 27-year-old was aware that the world champion had a problem at the Safety Car restart.
“At the restart I had a good, strong sense [that Verstappen had an issue] because I had a very clean restart behind Charles and Max,” he added.
“He defended well to be fair, and then suddenly I started seeing some flashing red lights on the back of his car and I said ‘this is my chance’ and I went for it.
“He was unfortunate, today I think he was driving well enough to get P2 but I had a good run on him and then he had to retire but it is what it is and it’s good for Ferrari.”
It has recently been reported that Ferrari have more power available to them should they wish to use it, and this weekend’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix will give us a better idea as to what extent their considerable advantage over Mercedes is owed to engine performance.