Carlos Sainz Jr admits that there is a “question mark” over the cooling of his McLaren Formula 1 car following issues over the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix weekend at Silverstone.
An issue with overheating forced Sainz’s team to open up the car and generate more cooling, which in turn compromised the aero performance of the MCL35.
The problem was seemingly confined to the Spanish driver’s car, and Sainz endured a frustrating weekend, finishing out of the points in 13th place and four spots behind team-mate Lando Norris.
With high temperatures predicted for his home race in Barcelona this weekend Sainz is hopeful that the cause of the problem has been traced.
“We are putting everything in place this weekend to try and solve the issue,” he said.
“From my side, I just can tell you that I was obviously not happy about last weekend, having to carry that deficit into qualifying and the race, which made obviously my life a bit more difficult.
“But at the same time, I’m confident that the team is trying to put everything they can together to try and solve this issue.
“We are not sure if I’m going to have it or not tomorrow, but we are sure that we are trying to solve it as much as we can.
“It will be continuous work going into tomorrow to see if the problem has disappeared.
“Let’s see, it’s a bit of a question mark.
“And I don’t know the answer yet, because we need to switch the engine on, go on track, and see if the problem is solved.
‘But I’m hopeful that this is going to go away, and I can have a normal weekend.”
Norris says that McLaren is keeping a close watch on how his car behaves this weekend.
“At the time it was more of a problem on Carlos’ car, which was something that was a bit unknown, the exact reason for it,” said Norris.
“They’ve made the changes of what they think might be affecting it for this weekend, and something that will be looked over very closely, as it’s quite a high priority thing.
“And it cost performance, so it’s something that they will be looking at on my car because obviously they don’t want it to happen. But in Silverstone it was OK on my car.”
Asked about McLaren’s form for his home event, Sainz admitted that this could be another tough weekend after the team struggled at the second Silverstone event.
“We probably have a track temperature of 30 degrees hotter than what we did here in winter testing,” Sainz said.
“It’s impossible to know.
“What I know for a fact is that [last weekend] it was warmer and we struggled a bit more with the management of the tyres and the handling of the car, so it’s pretty warm here, so not over expecting too much.
“But at the same time we are an F1 team, we have had three or four days to analyse what went wrong, and hopefully we can get things a bit more together this week.
“The car in winter testing felt pretty good. I feel the last sector is a bit of a weakness for this car, so we need to keep an eye on it.”