Sainz: Bahrain outer loop on limit of being ‘dangerous’

Carlos Sainz thinks the short Bahrain outer loop Formula 1 circuit being used for the Sakhir Grand Prix is on the limit of being ‘dangerous’ with cars tripping over each other.

Sainz: Bahrain outer loop on limit of being ‘dangerous’

For the second weekend in Bahrain, F1 has moved the race on to the track’s outer loop configuration which at 3.543km is the shortest circuit on the 2020 calendar.

With lap times getting in to the 54-seconds territory, there is a high chance of cars getting in the way of each other in qualifying – especially when 20 cars take to the track in Q1. Sainz thinks that the FIA needs to change something to avoid the risk of any accidents, as happened in F2 qualifying with title contender Mick Schumacher and Roy Nissany colliding.

“We're going to talk about it in the drivers briefing,” said Sainz. “We need to find a way to make sure it doesn't become dangerous, because at the moment, it's a bit on the limit of dangerous.

“It's tricky. I mean, we're all trying to be as sensible and as safe as we can, but this track is offering us some challenges in terms of traffic management.

“I think that there's some ideas that as teams and drivers we put out there to the FIA to make it easier around the chicane in the middle sector, but we need to find a solution because I think it's on the limit of getting a bit dangerous.”

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Max Verstappen echoed Sainz’s comments regarding potential safety issues at the top section of the circuit. The Dutchman was also mindful that there could be huge speed differences between cars in qualifying, with some drivers on hot laps while others are having to slow down to cool their tyres.

“It's not the most exciting [track] to drive to be honest,” said Verstappen. “Also, because of the small track, the radio is constantly open with: ‘be careful here, traffic there.’ It's not really what you want.

“And also, especially in the second sector, it is quite blind with a lot of corners. It's quite dangerous around there. We will have to cool down the tyres to be able to do another lap, you know.”

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