Sainz: Heartbreaking DNF in Austrian GP 'more difficult to take'

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Carlos Sainz admits his strong pace and the prospect of big points for Ferrari in the Austrian Grand Prix made his heartbreaking engine failure "more difficult to take".

Sainz was enjoying a solid afternoon at the Red Bull Ring, running consistently among the top three along with Scuderia teammate and future race winner Charles Leclerc and Red Bull's Verstappen.

The Spaniard's second pit stop and switch to the medium tyre on lap 50 of 71 left him fighting for position with Verstappen. But just as Sainz prepared to overhaul the Dutchman, the Ferrari's engine gave up the ghost with no warning.

"There was no feedback coming from the engine that this was about to happen," a gutted Sainz told Sky Sports F1. "Very sudden, and a bit lost for words, because it's obviously a big loss on points and [the loss of] a huge result for the team.

"I think it would have been an easy 1-2 today."

It was a spectacular failure for Sainz who coasted to a halt with smoke billowing out of the engine cover before hot oil hit the exhaust and ignited the F1-75's engine compartment.

Fortunately, the British GP winner was allowed to immobilize his car and swiftly exit his car's overheated cockpit.

"A lot of fire, a lot of damage, for sure, which is not ideal and something that we will need to look at," he said.

"Yesterday the pace was there, the degradation was very low on our car. We were fast. I will take it and turn the page as soon as possible."

Considering his pace in the race and Leclerc's relatively comfortable win, save for the Monegasque's throttle scare towards the end of the race, Sainz admitted that his DNF was a hard knock.

"For sure, it is more difficult to take, because we were about to cut the points to the leaders of the championship, both Max and Red Bull," he said.

"We were about to [get] a very big result for the team and one of the cars [suffered a] DNF, so it's heartbreaking, but we need to keep pushing, turn the page, and it's a long season ahead."

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