Sainz and Magnussen will start the French GP at the back of the grid after engine penalties
Ferrari driver Sainz was forced to retire in the closing stages of the Austrian Grand Prix two weeks ago when a problem with his engine caused a fire, leaving the team to prepare for penalties in France.
Ferrari confirmed ahead of opening practice at Paul Ricard on Friday that Sainz’s powertrain had been fitted with new control electronics, pushing him past the season limit and triggering a 10-place grid penalty.
But the team has now opted to take on other extras including a new engine, turbocharger, MGU-K and MGU-H, meaning Sainz will start Sunday’s race from the back of the grid. .
The Spaniard set the fastest time on Friday but prepared for the struggle through the peloton to be a challenge after finding overtaking in practice was “a little trickier than expected”.
“There’s tailwind on the backstretch, and with that tailwind it looks like the wake and the DRS effect is a bit weak,” Sainz said.
“I have to find ways to overtake and the best remedy for that is just to be a bit quicker on Sunday than what we are.
Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-22
Photo by: Alastair Staley / Motorsport Images
“Let’s see when everyone will use full engine modes if we have the top speed to overtake. Hopefully we will because I need to gain a lot of places.”
Sainz will be joined at the back of the grid by Haas driver Magnussen, who has also taken on a number of new powertrain components ahead of final testing in France.
Magnussen’s power unit was also equipped with a new engine, turbocharger, MGU-K and MGU-H, as well as a new exhaust system.
Sainz and Magnussen will occupy the last row of the grid, whoever qualifies the highest on Saturday can start 19th.
The only other new component update from the FIA ahead of final testing was a new exhaust system for Sainz’s Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc, but that’s without penalty as it’s his seventh out of eight available this year.