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Carlos Sainz Had the Same Brake Issue as Charles Leclerc at Bahrain GP

“Yes, [during] the first stint and the beginning of the second stint,” Sainz explained. ...

Charles Leclerc’s race was hampered by a brake issue that saw him regularly locking up the front tyres while he was following another car closely. We now know that the issue is due to overheating brakes caused by the hot, dirty air from rival cars, but what we didn’t know was that Carlos Sainz was affected by the same issue.

This wasn’t immediately clear considering Sainz’s impressive race and ability to close the gap to Sergio Perez in the closing stages of the race ultimately earning him a podium in Bahrain.

When asked by the media if the Spaniard suffered the same issues as Leclerc, he said it definitely did.

“Yes, [during] the first stint and the beginning of the second stint,” Sainz explained. “Whenever we were in traffic, we were having a lot of brake vibrations and the pedal at one point started to go long.

“So it was always a balancing act between do I go for it and try to get rid of the dirty air and overtake people? Or do I start saving my brakes because they’re going to fail or something’s going to happen?”

Sainz had decided on a management strategy that allowed him to cool the brakes enough to push for the overtake when he was able to.

“I started saving by moving a bit on the straight to cool the side that it was getting hotter and the vibration started to get better,” Sainz continued. “And then I could start to make moves and move forward.

“But as I said, the start wasn’t great. The brakes were still a bit of a limitation for a bit. Then once everything settled, I could do my pace, do my overtakes and go for the podium.”

Was the issue as bad for Sainz as Leclerc? Sainz isn’t sure, but he knows for himself that “it was one point pretty bad too.”

“It’s something that you cannot discover in testing because in testing you never put yourself in 10 laps consecutive behind four cars getting all the hot air from the four cars in front and the brakes never cool down.

“I tried not to panic. I tried to put the side that was more heated and I took a different line on the straights to cool them down. At one point the pedals started to go quite long and also a lot of brake vibrations which changes your feeling on the braking quite a lot, but yeah, I kept it cool, managed them and as soon as I got a bit of clean air it cleared and it became a lot better, but it’s something that we definitely maybe need to take a bit more margin going into an extra race.”

Brake issues aside, Ferrari ran a solid race being the two cars behind the lightning quick Red Bulls. It was a sign for Sainz that things were going well for Ferrari as Bahrain is “one of [Red Bull’s] strongest tracks.”

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