Sainz ‘not using excuses’ after crashing out

Date published: July 31 2021 - Henry Valantine

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari

Carlos Sainz has explained that a strong gust of wind may have contributed to his qualifying spin, but is not looking for excuses after crashing his Ferrari.

That incident means the Spaniard will start the Hungarian Grand Prix in a lowly P15 grid slot after a weekend that has already seen him change power unit, with his team breaking the FIA’s mandated curfew to do so, before bringing out the red flag in qualifying after his shunt.

After his snap of oversteer at the final corner sent him into the wall, Sainz was not looking to blame other factors and wanted to assess where he could have handled the situation differently.

“Today, for sure it was not easy, but it was difficult for everybody. I don’t want to use excuses, I’m surprised by what happened,” he told Sky Italia after the session.

“Immediately after the checks of the FIA, I went to the box to see what I could have done differently. We saw I entered the corner 5kph slower than the run in Q1 so it’s not like I’ve been too aggressive.

“And even if I entered the corner 5kph slower, we saw there was a gust of wind of 35/40kph, while in Q1 I had [a gust of wind] of 10kph. This maybe gave me oversteer.

“It’s not an excuse, it’s just the data. I have to learn from this and apologise to all the team because tomorrow I think we have a lot of work to do.

“For me it will be difficult [in the race], it’s not easy to overtake. It will be more the start and the strategy. If we can be on the good side of the start and the good side of the strategy, maybe tomorrow we can gain a few points – but more than that I think will be difficult.”

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Charles Leclerc fared rather better than his team-mate in qualifying, placing his car seventh on the grid for the race – but the Monegasque driver felt there was more pace in his Ferrari at the Hungaroring.

“It’s a pity, but today honestly from Q2 on I struggled a bit more in the car,” Leclerc said. “The first lap in Q2 was very difficult with the back [of the car] that moved a lot with the change of wind. And then we struggled to try to make sure to take away this wind or feel it less. But it’s like that.

“Today it’s a P7. The race pace is good, but it’s also a track where it’s difficult to overtake. So it’s a bit difficult.

“At the start there will be a lot to gain, but there’s also always a lot to lose. So I’ll try to do the best possible start to be as [far] ahead as possible.”

Additional reporting by Luca Brambilla