Carlos Sainz believes his attempt to go for pole ended up costing him for than he would have gained as he finished P3 in Saturday’s wet qualifying session.
With Max Verstappen already across the line, Sainz knew that if he could best the Dutchman’s time then he would start on pole for Sunday’s race.
However, in his attempt to push and regain the two tenths of speed advantage Verstappen had over him, Sainz exited the final corner poorly and lost time as he regained control of the car.
Not only did the Ferrari driver miss out on the first pole position of his career, he was also pipped to P2 by his compatriot Fernando Alonso.
Speaking after the disappointment, Sainz said he believed his gamble to go after Verstappen ended up proving more costly than what he had hoped to gain.
“I tried to get back that last tenth or two that Max had an advantage on us during the whole day really,” he said afterwards. “[I] wanted to get it but in the end it cost me probably more than what I was going for but it’s how it is.
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“Very good sector one then in sector two I started to feel the lap going away from me, and into sector three I decided to push really hard the last corner to see if we could get pole, it ended up costing me more than half a second.”
With Charles Leclerc starting from the back of the grid due to a new power unit, Ferrari’s chances of disrupting a sixth consecutive Red Bull win fall on Sainz and he said he was hopeful he could put pressure on Verstappen from the start.
“[It is] important we can get behind Max as soon as possible. From there, try and really push Red Bull into a strategy or into something different. I think we have a good chance, we just need to make sure we get behind them as soon as possible if not pass them at the start.”
Leclerc meanwhile is optimistic he will be able to take his car from the back of the grid and up into P4.
“We will try to make the best out of it tomorrow and then hopefully we can have no more reliability issues any more and focus on ourselves and catch the Red Bulls in the championship,” said Leclerc, quoted by GPFans.
“It was a bit more difficult to overtake than I initially thought [in practice], but overall I think we’ve got quite a good pace in the car if we play it smart with the strategy, having some clean air, we can come back to P4 or something, so that is the goal and I’ll give it everything.”