Saturday at the Hungarian Grand Prix proved to be an extremely painful one for Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz.
It had all looked so promising for the three-time podium finisher as he finished an excellent P4 in Q1, only behind the big three of Verstappen, Hamilton and Bottas. He also outpaced teammate Charles Leclerc by 0.4s in the first segment of qualifying.
However, things went wrong in Q2. Sainz was about to turn into the final corner on his flying lap when the rear suddenly got away from him and he hit the barriers. His front wing was broken and he couldn’t make it back to the pits. Barring a penalty for a potential gearbox change, he’ll start P15 tomorrow.
Quizzed if it hurt him to be eliminated in Q2, Sainz said: “It does, it does. Q1 I was so strong and I was feeling good with the car, so to have this kind of issue in Q2 in the first run, with the quali still to play for, hurts.”
Sainz admitted he was ''puzzled'' by what happened.
“I was very puzzled because I really didn’t understand what happened. I went to see my engineers to try to see what I could have done differently. We see I entered the corner slower than in Q1, and even like that with 35km/h gust of tailwind I just lose the car.
“It got gustier, it got windier, so I’m not going to use it as an excuse, I should have maybe adapted a bit myself,” Sainz continued. “But when you go into a corner slower than the previous one and you still lose the rear, it’s unfortunate. It hurts because I’m not used to doing this kind of mistake – but I have to take it on the chin, apologise to the team and go again tomorrow.”
Hungary is one of the toughest tracks to overtake on as Sainz acknowledges, but he’s hopeful of grabbing some points tomorrow as Ferrari tussle with McLaren for P3 in the Constructors’ Championship.
“Q1 felt really good. Yesterday we weren’t particularly that good on the long run, but we know for Sunday we always have a bit in the tank. It’s the worst possible track to have this kind of issue, because overtaking is going to be very tough, but at the same time I’m going to try to recover from this and try and score some points tomorrow.”
🇭🇺 This one hurts after a promising Q1. I checked the data and I was caught out by a big gust of wind. Not an excuse, a mistake on track and I apologize to the entire team. Not the best track to overtake, but I’ll give it all to recover tomorrow.— Carlos Sainz (@Carlossainz55) July 31, 2021