Carlos Sainz was frustrated after not being able to use his Ferrari to its full potential, with Yuki Tsunoda’s crash “distracting” the Spaniard in Q3.
Tsunoda’s accident at Turn 3 brought out red flags to end qualifying for the second consecutive race, with the move benefiting Sainz’s Ferrari team-mate Charles Leclerc as the Monegasque driver took pole in Baku.
As Sainz approached behind the Japanese rookie, he took to the escape road and damaged his front wing in the process – but the Ferrari driver was more annoyed about the fact he did not have a better chance of putting his car on pole.
“Yes, it was a particular crash,” Sainz told Sky Italia. “In the end I started the lap a little bit too near to Yuki [Tsunoda]. But the lap was going well until there. I was already one tenth and a half faster only in the first two corners, it was becoming a good lap.
“Then I see him [Tsunoda] doing full lock and I imagined he did a crash. Then I braked and I saw him in the wall, and when I saw him in the wall I didn’t know what to do exactly to avoid him, because I was arriving really fast as well.
“And I lost the car there, I got distracted as a result. It’s a pity it’s two races in a row that someone crashes ahead and we can’t use all the potential of the car.”
The incidents which brought qualifying to an end ❌
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With Ferrari showing strong pace again throughout practice and qualifying in Azerbaijan, Sainz felt a front-row lockout for the team was possible – but aired his frustration at not being able to have the opportunity to improve his best lap time.
“Yes, it’s like that,” he added. “We’ve been stronger than we expected. Already from Turn 2, I was one tenth and a half faster, so there was the pace in the car.
“It’s already two times in a row that because of city circuits, things happen. But today I still had the pace, the sensations with the car are really good because I’m fighting for the pole position two weekends in a row.
“But it’s been two weekends that something always happened, so I’m not happy.”
But Sainz says the jury is still out on whether or not he has reached the maximum of his capabilities behind the wheel of his Ferrari.
“I don’t know. Give me another couple of races and I’ll tell you,” he said when asked if he is at 100% yet.
Additional reporting by Luca Brambilla
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