Carlos Sainz admits he made a costly driver error by crashing in Q2 at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, where he feels he should have been fighting for pole position.
With rain expected during the second part of qualifying, Sainz was already second quickest when he spun at the final corner on slick tires, hitting the barrier and damaging the left-hand side of his car. The incident meant he couldn’t run in Q3 and will start 10th on the grid in the Sprint, as long as there is no damage that requires a change of setup or component specification.
“Very frustrating,” Sainz said. “The target was to put a banker lap in knowing that the rain was going to come. Honestly, I knew I was P1, P2 the whole session and I wasn’t really pushing that hard at all but the car surprised me in that corner. I missed it.
“It’s clear that the track conditions are very tough out there and I did a driver mistake that is going to cost me quite a lot going into the weekend, but at least thinking positively I will have Sprint qualifying and the race to recover.
“(The damage) looked bad. Obviously if you hit the wall at the speeds that we go with these cars, it’s not going to be easy for the guys tonight, so big apologies to them for giving them the extra work and now it’s time to focus on tomorrow.”
While the incident ending his running in qualifying, Sainz — who had a new Ferrari contract announced on Thursday — still has another practice session and the Sprint before the main grand prix itself, so sees plenty of potential to recover.
“That’s the target, to move forward, try and rescue some solid points. The weekend is not over yet — it’s only Friday, so there’s plenty of time. But obviously it hurts because we could have been an easy through to Q3 and in the wet you never know what can happen.”