Sainz says VSC "useless" and not what F1 needs

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Sainz says VSC "useless" and not what F1 needs
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Oct 4, 2016, 1:32 PM

Carlos Sainz has blasted Formula 1's Virtual Safety Car as a "useless" feature, saying it is not what the championship needs at this moment in time.

Carlos Sainz Jr., Scuderia Toro Rosso
Carlos Sainz Jr., Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11 leads Fernando Alonso, McLaren MP4-31
Carlos Sainz Jr., Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB10 during a practice of the Virtual Safety Car
Carlos Sainz Jr., Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11
Carlos Sainz Jr., Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11
Carlos Sainz Jr., Scuderia Toro Rosso
Carlos Sainz Jr., Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11
Carlos Sainz Jr., Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11

The Spaniard believes the VSC is a detriment to those running in the midfield, and adds that many drivers can gain an unfair advantage during that period.

“In my opinion, they [VSC periods] are a bit useless, I don’t like it, it is not something that I enjoy,” he said after the Malaysian Grand Prix, which saw three separate VSC periods.

“Because when you are a midfielder, you prefer safety cars all the time, proper safety cars to regroup the field.

“It works as it should, but obviously people play a lot with it to warm their tyres, to create their own gaps before the pitstops.

“You can play a lot with it to your advantage or disadvantage of the others, so I don’t really enjoy it. I don’t that it is something that is contributing in F1, that’s my personal opinion.”

The Toro Rosso driver added that the VSC makes for an inherent advantage for the race leader, and stresses that's not what Formula 1 needs in its current state.

“If I am a race leader, I probably like it, if I am a midfielder, I probably don’t like it,” he said. “I have been in many racing series where you have a 10-second lead, suddenly a safety car comes out and you have to battle again.

“But looking [at it], maybe it’s a bit more fair, but I don’t think it’s what Formula 1 needs, especially for a midfielder.”

Didn’t expect to be beaten by Renault

For the fourth race in succession Sainz failed to score a point, finishing 11th behind Jolyon Palmer in the Renault.

The Spanish driver said that the French squad seemed quicker from qualifying, and conceded that Sepang wasn't a track where Toro Rosso expected to lose out to Renault.

“[One-stop strategy] definitely paid off for them [Renault]," said Sainz.

"They were ahead in qualy, so they were always going to have a bit of a better pace than us, especially because Kevin qualified with a used tyre.

"You could see really in the last stint that the Renault, even though I had a bit fresher tyres and I was pushing quali laps for 16 laps, they were just a tiny bit quicker, which we don’t like, [and] we didn’t expect in this race track.”

Additional reporting by Oleg Karpov

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