Carlos Sainz says it is difficult to accept the fact he lost the chance to fight for pole position at the Monaco Grand Prix because of teammate Charles Leclerc’s crash.
Leclerc was on provisional pole after the first Q3 runs but Sainz had shown impressive pace throughout the weekend, as he had finished second in every practice session. However, as everyone attempted their final runs, Leclerc crashed at the Swimming Pool and brought out the red flags to end the battle — leaving Sainz a frustrated fourth on the grid.
“Very disappointed, to be honest –a difficult thing to accept, to digest,” Sainz said. “It’s not like every day of your life you have the opportunity to put it on pole in Monaco, because today I definitely had the pace to do so, but due to the circumstances I didn’t. It’s a very frustrating day for me.
“Run one I lost two or three tenths in the last sector compared to my best lap so I knew a (one minute) 10.2, 10.1 with the track evolution was there. I had a lot of traffic, (Sergio) Perez into Turn 1, and I already lost a tenth, but then I was recovering the lap time and knew I had the lap time in the last sector, but it was out of Turn 13 I saw the yellow flag and had to abort.
“I have had the pace to put it on pole, so yeah, I’m starting fourth — not even close to that. I went into qualifying thinking a pole and the win would be possible and now I’m lining up fourth, which is very far away from where I think I could have been.”
However, Sainz insists his anger is not at his teammate, who could end up taking a penalty if he needs a new gearbox after his crash.
“No, I cannot be angry with him — we are here at the limit, pushing these cars like you cannot imagine, brushing nearly every corner, fastest cars in history — these things can happen. I’m unhappy with the circumstances now that haven’t given me the opportunity for the first time I fight for pole, at Monaco with Ferrari, I didn’t get the possibility to get that.”