Carlos Sainz says his felt quick all weekend, but when it mattered most, the Ferrari “couldn’t put it together” to secure his spot in Q3.
Sainz was left P11 in the tightly disputed Q2 segment, right on the doorstep to the top-ten shootout which he missed by six hundredths of a second.
The Spaniard was obviously disappointed not to make the final cut, especially as he felt that his pace up to then would carry him through. But the Scuderia recruit reckons his lack of mileage with his new team is still weighing a bit on his overall performance.
“I honestly felt quick all weekend but always felt like I couldn’t put the lap together, and qualifying exposed it,” Sainz said.
“I was just a bit all over the place, never really managing the put corners together doing the whole lap. Even though I felt quick in the corners that I managed to nail, I just couldn’t put it together.
“So I’m disappointed, because I know a lap time was there if I do a good job. I know I could have gone through [to] Q3.
“But at the same time, I think this track has exposed us a bit in terms of that I still lack a bit of mileage, a bit of understanding from the car to exactly know what to expect and to know how to extract the absolute limit of it.”
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Sainz believes he “left a few tenths on the table” on his final effort in Q2, a deficit that made all the difference given the incredibly tight spread within the field.
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“It’s tight out there, and every single tenth counts,” he added.
“But I know today I left two or three tenths on the table, just by my own means and my own brake balance issues, not managing to put together the balance that I wanted through every corner.
“But at the same time, it’s early in the season. I’ve done very little laps with this car, and I still need to learn. I’m going through a learning curve right now, and I will try and improve.”
Although disappointed, the 26-year-old will blast off the grid on Sunday determined to race in the points.
“I’m always a bit of a Sunday driver,” Sainz said. “I always like doing a better job on Sunday. I’m quite confident in that regard and I am sure I can move forward tomorrow.”
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