Carlos Sainz feels that a sluggish banker lap cost him a chance of snatching pole for tomorrow’s Dutch Grand Prix.
The Spaniard, who started from pole last weekend in Belgium, couldn’t repeat his heroics at Zandvoort after his first run in Q3 was only good enough for fourth before improving to third on his second run as Max Verstappen took pole ahead of Sainz’s teammate Charles Leclerc.
In the post-session press conference, Sainz felt that because of his slow banker lap, he had to play catch up on his second lap, which in turn cost him time to Leclerc and Verstappen.
“Yeah, very similar to Charles; actually, after Q1 and in Q2, it looked like we were quite a big chunk behind Max and the Red Bull. They looked like they had the upper hand, but then I was surprised at how much grip we gained in Q3; probably that first banker lap in Q3 wasn’t very strong; it should have been a bit stronger to give me better references for the last lap in Q3 which I was maybe chasing too much, and yeah I improved by three tenths, but I am pretty sure that a better banker lap would have given me a bit of a better run for pole at the end.”
With Zandvoort being known as a circuit where overtaking comes at a premium, the fate of tomorrow’s race could be decided on strategy and the two DRS zones. But Sainz remains hopeful that Ferrari can find something overnight that may tip the balance of the race in the Maranello-based outfit’s favour.
“I mean, in Qualifying, we’ve been a tenth of each other, so in the race, if it’s like that for 70 laps, it’s going to be a tight race normally; the Red Bull lately on Sunday’s together with the Mercedes has something there that we recently haven’t had, but if we go back to France and Austria we had something on Sunday, so hopefully, it’s like those two races, and we can challenge Max for the whole race.”
“I think there is a combination that these cars should be a bit better to follow compared to last year, plus a couple extra 100 metres in DRS is for sure going to be easier than last year. It’s not going to be easy because it’s still a very difficult track to overtake at, but hopefully, it’s not going to be as tough as last year.”