Monaco Grand Prix – McLaren’s Carlos Sainz was forced to miss the majority of free practice one whilst the mechanics changed a power unit component.
McLaren’s desire to have a clean, successful weekend in Monaco got off to a bad start when they discovered an issue on Sainz’s car at the beginning of free practice one.
His MCL34 required a new energy store system, which took almost the entirety of free practice one to replace. With this being his second energy store unit of the season, any other new components will result in a grid penalty.
He managed to go out on track in the closing minutes of the session, but was forced to condense his programme into the remaining free practice sessions.
“We had a problem with the [energy store] pack, and we had to change it during the session,” confirmed Sainz.
“The mechanics did a great job to get me back out for one lap. Obviously just one lap in Monaco is not ideal, were now 30 or 40 laps behind our competitors, but you just need to recover the laps little by little.
“I did manage to catch up, but I’m still 30 laps behind, and that’s never going to change throughout the whole weekend, but hopefully getting myself comfortable in the car and using my previous experience I can recover from that.”
Whilst both Sainz and team-mate Lando Norris remain unsure about their chances in qualifying on Saturday, both drivers – who finished 13th and 12th in FP2 respectively – were within one-quarter of a second of Haas’ Kevin Magnussen, who finished seventh in FP2.
Penalty-wise, this means that Sainz has taken the second-highest number of new power unit components so far this season, with only Nico Hulkenberg taking more.
It also means that, as he has reached his limit of new components on every aspect of the power unit, he will receive a grid penalty for any new component he takes over the remainder of the season.