Sainz's paradox in Spa: from stepping stone to F1 to frustration with his McLaren and the dark clouds at Ferrari

Sainz's paradox in Spa: from stepping stone to F1 to frustration with his McLaren and the dark clouds at Ferrari

In 2014, he launched his World Series by Renault title with a double at the Belgian circuit, which earned him a steering wheel at Toro Rosso. He has two zeros in a row there and the Scuderia, his next destination, does not wake up

Sainz's paradox at Spa: from F1 stepping stone to frustration with his McLaren and dark clouds at Ferrari

While Lewis Hamilton lived his particular party mode around the old Spa circuit, levitating as usual aboard his battleship Mercedes, Carlos Sainz burned inside, watching, dressed for the street and in the McLaren garage, how his partner Lando Norris he was eager to get another six points (7th) for his collection. His orange mask concealed much of the anger generated by that frustrating abandonment in the formation lap, just half an hour from starting.

“It is the second year in a row that I haven't even started my career at Spa and the third year that I don't go out here, because it also happened to me in 2015 (with Toro Rosso). It was frustrating, ”lamented the Spanish rider on the deserted paddock of the Belgian track, minutes after Hamilton dealt another fatal blow to the championship. An engine failure in his MCL35 led to a problem with the exhausts, which forced him to land early.

Yet another trip in his journey through this winding, bumpy World Cup 2020. Everything has happened to Sainz. In Austria, the second round of the course, he lost eight seconds in an incomprehensible pitstop, which ruined an exciting race, as he started from third position on the grid. Then came Hungary, where another inopportune stop blurred his options. From Silverstone , twice (and for different reasons), he left empty. He first blew a tire when he was flying fourth and, on the next visit, he was lost again in the pits. “It is curious because this engine was working well and does not seem to last,” he added before a possible penalty in Italy for having to change the engine.

Yesterday's pinch was, if possible, more painful than the previous ones. For the third time this season he was left without scoring, only that it happened in his fetish circuit: Spa-Francorchamps. There, six years ago (2014), being little more than a child, he began to grab his first wheel in Formula 1. It was after winning the two World Series by Renault races that were held one weekend. That double propelled him to a title that was an essential requirement to have options to sit in the Toro Rosso seat. Curiously, his great rival was Pierre Gasly , declared the best of the race, who yesterday finished eighth with his Alpha Tauri.

The Renault show

The third zero of the season for the Spanish driver contrasted with the smile of Daniel Ricciardo , his successor at Renault and, from the next World Championship, heir to his McLaren. The Australian became the fashionable name in Spa thanks to his formidable ranking (4th) and his fight on the asphalt to climb to the podium. Because the French car ended up giving breath in the last laps to Max Verstappen, whose tires threatened to let him down again. Ricciardo (and also Ocon, 5th) brought a smile to Fernando Alonso with that fast lap that earned him an additional point on his account. Quite the opposite that happens in Ferrari, Sainz's next destination, where they sail aimlessly at the gates of Monza, the temple of the Italian team. Neither Vettel nor Leclerc managed to score.

The silent Spa saw another blow from Hamilton, which is no longer news. A race against himself, in which only his right front tire quickened his pulse. Hence, he caressed him like a child, just to assure what is his fifth conquest of the year. The 89th of his career. That is, before the end of the summer, the Briton could have reached that record of triumphs of Michael Schumacher (91), which not so long ago seemed like a record for eternity. In Eau Rouge, where his idol Ayrton Senna claimed to see God, Lewis gave one more bow to a conquest that is already inevitable: his seventh crown.

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