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Sainz “disappointed” after power steering problems return in Sardinia

World Rally Champion Carlos Sainz believes a lack of testing for the Odyssey 21 has left drivers “suffering” after he was hit by another technical problem in Sardinia.

Sainz lost power steering on his run, leaving his unable to complete a lap around the Island X-Prix circuit and team-mate Laia Sanz unable to get out at all.

It’s the third time in four races the Acciona Sainz XE Team has been hit with technical problems during Friday practice which has left them heading into qualifying without properly experiencing the circuit.

“We need to remember this car was really not developed because of the pandemic, and they couldn’t test the car properly,” he said.

“We are suffering from the fact they were not testing the car properly. We’re finding, every time, different problems, and I think this is an issue that needs to be addressed seriously. We need to find a solution. I’m happy to help. I’m sure all the teams are happy to help. The main thing is to work on reliability, the random reliability issues we’re having.”

Sainz claimed the power steering issue – which also hit Abt Cupra XE’s Mattias Ekstrom – was something they had been hit with before.

“Our steering issue that we had before seems to be something random or something difficult to understand, at the moment, why it’s happening,” he said.

“Of course, everybody’s working very hard to solve the problems, try to stop some other issues. Today, we saw some big hits and it’s normal to have a problem if you hit something. It’s normal to break the car. I didn’t hit anything, it was just a bump and the power steering broke. This kind of issue, it’s important we try to identify the problem and try to solve it because it is not a new issue.”

Sainz said he was disappointed but not upset, and is hoping things will turn around before qualifying.

“I would say I’m not upset but a little disappointed because it’s the third time and it’s a pity we could not finish; also for Laia to get the feeling of the car, to get some driving kilometres.

“Tomorrow, again, we have to go into qualifying with a little bit of an unknown situation for part of the track for me and the complete track for Laia.

“This is not the best start and, as I said, this is the third time we are having this issue. Not the best start but, nevertheless, we will turn the page, we will try to have a good preparation for tomorrow and hopefully we can have a good run.”

Along with power steering issues for Sainz and Ekstrom, Rosberg X Racing’s Mollie Taylor was hit with an electrical problem that left her without windscreen wipers or a pit lane speed limiter.

Image courtesy of Extreme E

Bethonie Waring

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