All of Saturday’s crashes and whether or not the teams will be race-ready
There were a number of incidents this afternoon during the Qualifying sessions, and so the teams associated with the damaged contenders will be working through the night to be race-ready.
The chance of not being ready by lights out tomorrow is always a worry when substantial damage is caused on any of the 2021 contenders. The speed at which they collide with the barriers means the machinery never comes out unscathed.
However, engineers are usually able to gauge whether or not the damage caused can be mended in time, and so the Haas and Ferrari garages will be grappling to beat the clock.
Mick Schumacher summoned a red flags in FP3 after a heavy crash at Turn 11 which ended the Haas driver’s chance of participation in qualifying due to significant car damage.
The team worked incredibly hard to have the car ready for Q1 but fell short when time ran out meaning Schumacher will take off from P20 tomorrow.
Schumacher lost control going through the fast right-hander and spun into a hefty side-on impact with the outside tyre wall.
“I’m okay,” said the rookie driver, “really sorry for that. I know what it means. Sorry.”
Speaking after qualifying, he said; “The way we hit the wall was very unfortunate because that meant the whole side was broken and we had to repair and replace it and it’s just something that takes more time.
“If we had five or 10 minutes more, we would’ve been able to do a lap – the team did a mega job. If we manage to be clean and save our tires, we might be able to gain a few positions.”
There is nothing to suggest that the Haas driver will not start tomorrow’s race with repairs complete.
Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz slid into the barriers approaching the final corner during Q2.
“I crashed. Sorry guys,” the Spaniard said over the team radio.
The back end of the car went around on him which made him spin into the barriers with a side-on impact – causing a broken front wing.
He was running 14th at that point without a time on the board and will take off from 15th tomorrow
Speaking after the session the Spanish driver said; “This one is tough to take. I’m rarely involved in this type of incident and it hurts.
“After a very strong run in Q1, going off in Q2 is the opposite of ideal. I was closing the lap, not pushing to the absolute limit, as it was only the first run of Q2 and unfortunately I was caught out by a big gust of wind, later confirmed on the data.
“I don’t want to use it as an excuse, it was a mistake on track and I apologise to the entire team. They did a great job last night and the car today felt quite good.
“Unfortunately, this is one of the worst possible tracks to have a bad qualifying because overtaking is tough here.
“I’ll do my best to recover and try to score as many points as possible tomorrow.”
It’s likely the SF21 will be ready to go tomorrow, as Racing Director, Laurent Mekies said;
“Now we are concentrating on preparing for the race, which will be a tough test for the drivers and the cars, especially because of the expected high temperatures.”