Carlos Sainz says he feels fine heading into the Russian GP, but admits that he may be forced to stop if he encounters a physical problem such as a sore neck.
The Spaniard has been passed fit by the FIA and the team has rebuilt the car around the original chassis, so he can start from 20th on the grid rather than the pitlane.
“No bruises, just obviously as you can imagine a bit stiff and a bit sore from yesterday, but nothing that a painkiller cannot kill,” he said when asked by this writer. “I will start the race and if I cannot move my neck or something I will stop. I feel perfectly capable of doing the start and participating in the race.”
Sainz insisted that he has no concerns about getting back in the car so soon.
“It’s just one race more. Obviously the accident was a tough one, but it’s already on the back. Obviously Turn 13 on the first lap will be a bit emotional, but from there on it will be all back to normal. I’m more than ready to race and my mind is telling me all the time to race, to race, to race and I think it’s the best thing I can do at the moment. I will remember for sure the first time when I go in Turn 13, but it will be just one time, and I will forget for sure.”
He admitted that the way the car went under the Tecpro barrier will likely be discussed by the drivers and the FIA.
“It will come out for sure in the next drivers’ briefing. It’s something for sure that we need to keep looking at. I was for sure lucky that nothing happened to me. It took a while to get me out, but just to let you know, I was always conscious, I was always knowing what was going on. Obviously my main concern at that point was to let everyone know I was fine. I was even downshifting and putting neutral on the car to let my engineers know I was moving and I was doing everything.
“But just the radio was not working, and I think that’s why everything was so tense and so hectic at that moment. To let you know my main concern at that point was to let my parents know, or all of you guys, that I was completely fine, I had no injuries.
“The first thing I did when I got to the hospital was to look at the crash to see what exactly happened, even though I could remember perfectly what had happened. I remember perfectly changing my brake shape [balance] before Turn 13, and just when hitting the brakes I lost the rear of the car and hit the first barrier, and then the approach to the next barrier. I remember everything perfectly, fortunately or unfortunately!”