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GP Week : Issue 230
following a frightening high speed crash during final practice that saw him spend the night in hospital, Carlos sainz has shown he's one of the hardest men on the formula 1 grid by lining up for the Russian Grand Prix. With 15 minutes remaining in final practice, Sainz lost the rear of his car at turn 13, clouting the barrier and skidding into the tecpro barriers at the end of the run-off where his car became buried underneath them. Taking time to be extracted, the Spaniard was stretchered away from the scene and air lifted to a local hospital for further checks before being given the all clear. He subsequently posted photos of himself in hospital giving the thumbs up before returning to the paddock on Sunday morning ready to race. Passing all the necessary medical checks, the 21 year old was cleared to take his place at the back of the grid. "There are no bruises, but as you can imagine I am a bit stiff, and a bit sore from yesterday," Sainz said on Sunday morning. "But it is nothing that a painkiller cannot cure. "The accident was a tough one but it is already at the back of my mind," he added. "Turn 13 on the first lap will be a bit emotional, but from then on it will all be back to normal. I am more than ready to race and my mind is telling me all the time to race." Early investigations into the crash suggested it was the result of driver error, Sainz locking the rear after making a change on the steering wheel. "He had changed the brake shape on the steering wheel, which meant he had more braking rear wards," explained team boss Franz Tost on Saturday evening. "Prior to the accident, Carlos had completed a long-run on the option tyre, before changing to the prime to do two further laps - on primes the grip level is lower. "A combination of these two factors might have been the cause of the rears locking, which made the car uncontrollable." "I remember perfectly changing my brake shape before turn 13," Sainz admitted, "and just when hitting the brakes lost the rear of the car, hitting the barrier and approaching the next barrier. "I remember everything perfectly, fortunately or unfortunately. I watched the accident, I saw everyhting happened as my mind was remembering, so that's good news." Ironically Sainz's race came to an anticlimactic end with brake problems, which showed themselves at the same corner at which he'd crashed the day before. He'd been saving his brakes for much of the race and despite that climbed to seventh before the left front brake cried enough and forced his retirement. 29 GPWEEK.com // 29 GPWEEK.com // F1 >>> RUSSIA PARTNERS: Carlos the brave